By Hanna Brooks Olsen for Blisstree.com
Winter weather may make you want to huddle up and drink yourself into an egg nog-induced stupor, but chilly temperatures also offer awesome new workouts. With the cold air comes some of the most exciting, beautiful ways to get outside get moving, while burning more calories that you would in a climate-controlled gym.
From cross-country skiing to snowboarding, outdoor activities really hit their stride in December. And even if you live in an area where the thermometer doesn't go south of 70, there are still ways to enjoy the cooler days -- whether you're up on the mountain, or zipping around a skating rink.
Regardless of whether or not you decide to take it outside, incorporating at least one fun, seasonal workout into your regular routine will fend off the winter blues -- and the holiday weight gain -- without seeming like a chore.
Even if you live somewhere where snow and mountains seem as mythical as Santa's reindeer, you may still be blessed with an indoor skating rink, which will likely be offering all kinds of promotions for the holiday season. Skate rentals are inexpensive and, even if you're a mega-beginner, there will probably be someone on hand to help you out with your first lap. Keep your ankles straight and your eyes up, and you'll be on your way to burning up to 500 calories per hour. And don't forget to bust out your leg-warmers! More from Blisstree.com Healthy Giving: 10 Best Gifts For Runners This Christmas Healthy Giving: 10 Eco-Friendly Yoga Gifts For The Holidays The 50 Best Cookie Recipes on the Internet Flickr photo by James Trosh
If you've never tried snowshoeing, now's the time. So much more fun than it seems, this method of transportation gets you out into the back-country for beautiful sight-seeing -- and an intense cardio and muscular workout to boot. An hour of snowshoeing can burn up to 500 calories, depending on your size, and how much you use your poles. Flickr photo by Karen Neoh
If you're not patient enough to plod along on personal paddles, cross-country skiing is another great way to get into the woods and get your heart rate up. Cross-country skiing also comes with an added perk: it works your whole body. The swinging arm motion that it takes to propel you forward offers awesome resistance to your chest and arms. All things considered, an hour of cross-country skiing burns around 450-500 calories per hour. Flickr photo by Jeremy Bronson
Once thought of as a trendy young-people sport, snowboarding has gained more mass acceptance in the last15 years than anyone would have expected. Probably because it is both super-fun, and super good for your heart and muscles. Experienced boarders will warn you about next-day soreness -- and they're not exaggerating. Expect to burn between 300 and 600 calories per hour. Flickr photo by Jeku Arce
Not strictly a cold-weather workout, running is a great way to get outside no matter where you live. But if you're in a place where there's ice, snow drifts, or even soggy trails to run on, the additional level of concentration and physical complexity makes an outdoor jog in the winter more interesting and challenging than during other seasons. And, depending on how cold you are when you start out, you may burn a few additional calories. Regardless of weather, estimate that running burns around 100 calories per mile. More from Blisstree.com Healthy Giving: 10 Best Gifts For Runners This Christmas Healthy Giving: 10 Eco-Friendly Yoga Gifts For The Holidays The 50 Best Cookie Recipes on the Internet Flickr photo by Dawn Correction: Running burns approximately 100 calories per mile, not 100 calories per hour.