6 Surprising Health Benefits of Winter Sports
Engaging in winter sports is a lot more beneficial than you might think. Did you know you can use winter sports to boost metabolism? What are the health benefits of winter sports? Find out why working out in the winter can help you get a serious jumpstart on your fitness, provide you with a generous boost to your metabolism, and help you start off the New Year ahead of the curve.
What Are the Health Benefits of Winter Sports?
At a time of year filled with holidays, parties, get-togethers, and lots and lots of treats, keeping yourself trim and fit can seem like a daunting task. But it doesn’t have to be that way. By incorporating some winter sports into your lifestyle, you can safely navigate the holiday season and emerge unscathed come spring.
All exercise is beneficial in some way, and just getting up and moving about will be helpful when it comes to burning off extra calories. But if you go one step further and throw some winter sports into the mix, you can reap a host of benefits you may have not even considered.
Check out these 6 awesome health benefits of winter sports:
• Boost metabolic rate—as mentioned above, winter sports will increase your metabolic rate first, because exercise ramps up your metabolism, but also because the cooler temperatures associated with winter will cause you to burn additional calories as your body attempts to maintain a normal temperature.
• Stave off weight gain—at a time when everyone around you is packing on the pounds, you’ll more easily keep off the weight and may even lose a few pounds in the process by sticking to an exercise plan. According to a study published in the Journal of Progress in Cardiovascular Diseases, exercise is a critical component when it comes to avoiding weight gain, especially during the winter season. 1 Couple that with the extra calories you’ll burn by being outdoors, and you have a recipe for fitness success.
• Start the New Year off right—instead of waiting until the bulk of the festivities are over, staying active throughout the winter means you won’t have to go to extremes to get in shape come the New Year. While all your friends are packing on the pounds, you’ll be slimming down and toning up.
• Beat the winter blues—studies show that a lack of sunlight can have a huge effect on our moods, which in turn can lead to overeating and weight gain. 2 Keeping active with winter sports will not only help you burn calories, but exercise is proven to release endorphins, or feel-good hormones, which can help alleviate depression and put a smile on your face, no matter what the weather.
• Burn more fat—research has indicated that adding CLA (conjugated linoleic acid), such as the
BioTRUST Belly Trim XP supplement, to your winter sports may provide the one-two punch you need to enjoy more of the wonderful celebratory foods over the holidays yet continue losing body fat. 3
• Stay fit or get fit—your workout routine doesn’t have to stop (and it shouldn’t!) just because the weather changes. Staying fit year-round is much easier on your body than the extremes that some people, like bodybuilders, take with over-the-top bulking and cutting seasons.
Try These Winter Sports to Boost Metabolism
Ice skating—always a fun family outing, ice skating is a great way to burn 250 calories or more in just 30 minutes.
Skiing—you can burn over 200 calories in just a 30-minute sesh of downhill skiing, and that’s with gravity doing most of the work!
Fat biking—this fun sport involves riding a bicycle through snow, but the difference is you have wide tires on your bike, made for traveling through snow. At a whopping 500 – 750 calories burned for every 30 minutes riding through snow, this could become your new favorite winter sport.
Snowshoeing—for a nice 250-calorie burn for every 30 minutes, strap on a pair of snowshoes and head out.
Cross-Country skiing—as with downhill skiing, you can expect to burn upwards of 200 calories for every 30 minutes of cross-country skiing.
Hockey—burn 200 – 400 calories per hour while having a great time with this fast and fun winter activity. 5
And, of course, there are always the usual winter activities like sledding, snowball fights, snow shoveling, building snowmen, and more. As long as you get up and get out of the house, you can use winter fun to fully enjoy all of the health benefits of winter sports.
And, don’t forget, you can always continue all your regular indoor and gym activities throughout the year to harness the full benefits of exercise no matter the season.