The snow, cold, and shorter, darker days pose a hurdle for people who want to stay fit during the winter months. Winter activities like cross country, downhill skiing, and snowshoeing are great fitness options but pose financial and time barriers for some people and families. Purchasing a gym membership is not the only way to get feeling good and healthy for the summer. All you need is the proper clothing, a little creativity, and to use the resources in your community to get fit this winter. Here are a few ways to incorporate outdoor activity into your life this season.

shovel in snow

Shovelling

Don't pass up the opportunity to shovel those 3 feet of snow from last nights snowstorm. Instead of hiring your neighbor's kid to do it, pop on your boots and your gloves and grab your shovel. Not only is shovelling snow an excellent cardio workout, but it is also a strength workout for your back, shoulders, legs and core. Thirty minutes outside shovelling can burn approximately 233 calories.

climbing stairs

Climbing stairs

Have you ever considered your local football stadium a resource for your own fitness goals? Many communities have a high school, college or recreation center boasting a sports field with bleaches. Use these bleachers for sprints, elevated push-ups, and elevated split lunges to curate a cardiovascular and resistance full-body workout.

park fitness

Park fitness

Most households live within a short commute of a park or pocket park. As outdoor fitness equipment becomes an expected amenity for park and recreation directors, more communities will have accessible fitness options made available to them year-round. If your park or pocket park does not have accessible fitness options yet, use a park bench or a play structure to perform basic exercises.  
 

sled

Sledding

 Don't underestimate the workout you can get from a fun activity like sledding. While not much exercise is had sledding down the hill, the more times you walk up the hill with a toboggan (and a kid or two) in tow, is a recipe for a serious calorie burn.

walking

Walking or Jogging

Walking and jogging are always good outdoor fitness options that everyone can attempt. When engaging in these activities in the wintertime, it is super important to be dressed appropriately. Dress in layers so you can adapt as your body temperature changes. Cover your head and hands. When these areas of your body are warm, it helps keep your core warm. And lastly, stay hydrated; even though you may not be thirsty, it is still essential to drink lots of water before, during and after your walk or run.