Fitness Programs | Refresh & Recharge with Winter Sports

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Refresh & Recharge with Winter Sports

9 Ideas for Winter Fitness on the Cheap

  1. Expecting freezing temperatures? Flood your backyard for a homemade ice rink.
  2. Shop online for winter sporting goods — think Craigslist, eBay, and FreeCycle™.
  3. Poke around thrift stores and garage sales.
  4. Rent equipment from your local parks and recreation department or sporting goods store.
  5. Share your gear with friends, neighbors, and family members —they might return the favor.
  6. Bid on winter sports packages at local charity auctions.
  7. Shop local team (hockey, skiing, skating) booster club sales for used equipment in good shape at a bargain.
  8. Gather 10 or more people to join you, and ask for a group discount on equipment rentals, lift tickets, or admission.
  9. Check out community coupon books that may offer steep discounts on admission to winter sports venues.

by Beth Shepard, M.S., ACE-CPT, ACSM-RCEP, Wellcoaches Certified Wellness Coach

Does a chill in the air and snow on the ground give you the shivers? Or are you overjoyed with news of fresh powder? If you’ve never been a cold-weather enthusiast, give Old Man Winter a chance this year. Bundle up and enjoy these high-energy activities to sustain your fitness level during frosty weather. They’re guaranteed to add excitement to your exercise routine — and a hearty blush to your cheeks.

On the Trails

  • Snowshoeing — Explore backcountry forests or gad about a local park. It’s a great low-impact aerobic activity that targets the lower body while challenging the arms and building balance.
  • Nordic skiing — For a vigorous, total-body workout that’s easy on the joints, exploring winter woodland on cross-country skis can’t be beat. Take your family for a fun, invigorating day together in the great outdoors.

On the Ice

  • Figure skating — Glide your way to better strength, balance, and aerobic fitness. Lessons aren’t just for kids — grown-ups, too, can learn to stroke, turn, jump, and shoot the duck. Look for a learn-to-skate program at a rink near you.
  • Speed skating — Got a fondness for high-velocity fun? Speed skating will channel your energy into a workout that builds aerobic power and endurance — along with some serious muscular strength.
  • Ice dancing — Love to skate, but not into jumps? Learn to waltz, cha-cha, foxtrot, and tango on the ice solo or with a partner. Challenge your brain and body with this popular sport that combines dance moves, artistic elements, and ice skating technique.
  • Ice hockey — Hit the ice for a fast-moving game of speed, strength, and strategy. Many local ice rinks offer beginning hockey lessons for all ages.
  • Broomball — A combination of ice hockey and soccer, broomball is played on the ice with balls and special brooms. You’ll work both upper and lower body— and boost your cardiovascular fitness — with this easy-to-learn team sport.

On the Slopes

  • Downhill skiing — Legs, hips, arms, chest, core, and shoulders work to keep you upright and heading in the direction with alpine skiing. Prepare for the season with a ski conditioning class near you and check out ACE’s Fit Fact, Get Ready to Hit the Slopes.
  • Snowboarding — Like skiing, snowboarding works the whole body and is a great form of balance training. For best results, undergo a few lessons before taking to the slopes on your own.
  • Sledding/tubing — It’s an easy ride down on a sled or a tube, but the walk back up the hill really targets your hips and legs. Dress in layers — you’re sure to work up a sweat!
  • Telemark skiing —A hybrid of downhill and cross-country skiing, telemark skiing is also known as free-heel skiing, because the bindings allow the heels to come up off the skis. Mastering telemark technique, including stance and turns, will challenge your coordination and balance — and strengthen your muscles in both the lateral and frontal planes.

Backyard Fun

  • Snow play —Building a snow man works upper body, lower body, and core, depending on the size. Throwing snowballs is a terrific shoulder workout. And even making snow angels will get your blood pumping.

Celebrate…Don’t Hibernate

Your health and fitness doesn’t have to take a hit when snowy weather arrives. Gather your friends, gear up, and head into the powder to enjoy some fun, calorie-busting sports — and make some great memories.


Additional Resources
Exercising in the Cold – American Council on Exercise
Which Helmet for Which Activity? Consumer Product Safety Commission
Winter Sports Injury Prevention —American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons


  • American Council on Exercise (ACE) is accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA)
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