With the winter Olympics going on in Pyeongchang at the moment, and the impressive snow fall that has been occurring in all corners of the earth this winter, it is time to shine the light on winter sports. Winter sports are probably the best thing about the coldest season of the year (after hot coco and snuggling of course). They are an opportunity to go out and catch a breath of fresh air, take part in an intense work out and get that winter tan on! Who doesn’t love a goggle tan line?!
Between all the fries on the slopes and beer from the après ski sessions (oops), it isn’t difficult to gain some weight, BUT winter sports are known to be some of the most caloric-burning sports and are amazing leg work outs. So do not worry! Since there are so many different sports to take part in, you could never get enough. Have you been skiing your whole life or are you going on winter sport holidays for the first time this year? No matter what, this year is the year to try out new sports and explore where your talents and passions take you. Here are 4 types of winter sports that will make sure that you stay in shape throughout your holiday.
1. Downhill skiing
The most popular winter sport out there is, of course, skiing. There are many types of skiing however, so we need to clarify that it is downhill skiing that we’re talking about. Skiing is so popular because it is a sport that mixes speed and appreciation for the wonderful winter landscape. It is the best of both worlds! You get an adrenaline rush while surrounded by an enchanting winter wonderland. It also makes for a sensational Instagram picture. ? Now to the serious facts! Skiing is not only a fun and exciting activity to do with your friends & family, it is also an intense work out. An hour of skiing easily burns 500 calories, now imagine a whole day of it !! In addition to this, skiing is also an amazing killer for your core stability muscles and your thighs.
2. Cross-country skiing
An alternative for downhill skiing is cross-country skiing. This type of skiing may seem chiller (because it is usually done on a flatter surface), but in fact it is twice as intense as downhill skiing. Instead of 500 calories, with cross-country skiing you can burn up to 900 calories in an hour! This endurance exercise is quite different from other cardio exercises as it uses your upper core more. Tired of running on the treadmill? Then this sport is definitely for you.
Snowboarding has been gaining popularity among women over the past 2 years. It is the “new cool” and suits perfectly with any heavy squatters as it is basically a massive squat-sesh on the snow. With your feet being attached to the board at shoulder distance and the constant need for power exertion through your legs, you end up straight squatting most of the time. Basically, snowboarding works your lower body (hamstrings, calves, &quadriceps) as if your life depended on it. Try it for a day and you will see. ? I personally love snowboarding, and most of all when I can hit that fresh powder-snow in the early morning. When you find yourself gliding over that white canvas (the slope that is), it feels like your surfing on a cloud.
4. Ice skating
Even though you have different types of ice skating (for example ice hockey, figure skating, and speed skating), all of them use the same main sets of muscles and skills. Ice skating is great for your balance, agility and flexibility (especially in figure skating). Between the balance needed in order to stay standing on the ice and the agility you need to be able to change directions quickly & swiftly (especially in ice hockey), this sport is a serious pass-timer and cannot be underestimated. Of course, we aren’t all born professionals, so even if it would be your first time ice skating, you can learn a lot and get the most out of it.
These 4 winter sports are evidently not the only ones out there, but they are a good way start your preparation for the second half of the season. Get your snow glow on and go shine on those slopes (or ice skating rings). If you have any fun facts to share about other winter sports or pictures to share, then don’t be afraid to do so in the comments!
Photo credits (Header): Holly Mandarich via Unsplash
Photo credits: Ben Koorengevel via Unsplash, Polina Kirilenko via Unsplash, Hamish Duncan via Unsplash, Braden Barwich via Unsplash
Skipping on the winter holidays this year and going to a sunny place instead? Here is how to stay fit on a sunny holiday >
Are you aiming to remain fit these holidays? Have a look at our Guides to help you do so >