Benefits of Winter Sports

NH Recreation Articles: Benefits of Winter Sports


Benefits of Winter Sports

Have fun, get healthy!

We all know it ~ NH has long winters. Some of us like to hide until the warm weather returns. But instead of being miserable, praying for spring sunshine, why not get out there and enjoy and embrace the diverse opportunities our north country snow and cold offers?

When you think of winter sports, snowboarding and skiing are probablySking and other winter sports can be quite healthy. the first that come to mind, but there are several more. Beyond fresh air, fun and adrenalin, winter sports have numerous health benefits. They burn copious calories and can help you build muscle mass, endurance, and balance.

Alpine Skiing
Skiing is considered a power sport where you will be spending short bursts of energy and using muscles like the hips, hamstrings, calves, quads and feet. Expect to burn 350-500 calories per hour, more if you are an advanced skier.
Nearly 4 out of 5 snow sport beginners will choose snowboarding over any other activity. Based on your weight and exertion you can expect the sport to help you burn 350-500 calories per hour. Snowboarding uses the same muscles as skiing but will also better work your core.
Cross Country Skiing
Because you move nonstop for extended periods, cross country skiing is considered an aerobic sport. The muscles strengthened vary with your skiing style but usually include the thigh muscles, buns, calves, biceps and triceps. Burning 600 calories or more an hour is common. A few cautions though:
  • Prepare yourself ahead with an elliptical trainer.
  • Wear clothing layers and bring bottled water.
  • Always let someone know where you are going.
  • Ice Skating
    Ice skating is a lifelong sport, and can be done at any age or skill level. For most skaters it's low impact, and can be easier on some joints than other sports. If you do jumps though, it will also help build bone mass. If you skate slowly but consistently, you should burnX-Country Sking and other winter sports can be quite healthy. 300-400 calories an hour. If you push harder and engage in fast skating, calorie consumption can rise to 600+ calories per hour. If you skate outdoors if you will burn more fat. Indoor rinks are often warmer than outdoor skating and don't have the wind and bumps that could make you work harder. In lower temps you'll burn more calories just fighting the cold.
    Snowshoeing many not appear to be a full-fledged winter sport, but It provides a cardio workout while also building strength, agility, balance and endurance. It burns up to twice the number of calories as walking at the same speed. Walking uphill at 3 miles-per-hour can burn up to 1,000 calories per hour. It's a great workout if you desire to burn that excess fat. These cardio workouts can help prevent heart disease. Needed equipment starts at just $79 online (, can be done almost anywhere, you don't need any special training and it is also safer because you won't be flying about at 20-30 miles an hour.
    Ice Hockey
    Think winter sports with camaraderie. That means a constant encouragement to do more, do better, and works the lower body and abdominals, which maintain balance and the upper body, both needed to move and coordinate the hockey stick. Player heart rates can reach 190 beats a minute meaning a great cardio workout if you maintain the momentum. Plus a 180lb, 6ft tall male can burn 500+ calories an hour.

    If you choose hockey remember one important caution: hydration ~ and don't suppose grabbing a few beers after the game meets the need. Hydrate before and during the game!

    So, if you are thinking winter sports, get the blessing of your physician, and go forth and conquer!

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