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Winter Weather Calories: Burn, Baby, Burn

By:  Southard Nowak Jan 17, 2014
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Woman running during winter

The snow is falling, the fireplace is crackling, and you’re sipping a warm beverage while staring out the window. Likely, the last thing on your mind is exercising outdoors. But just because the temperature is dropping doesn’t mean your activity level should.

In fact, as colder weather sets in, so do comfort foods, says Robyn Flipse, registered dietitian and nutrition consultant to The Coca-Cola Company. “We’re much more likely to turn on the oven to bake a pan of lasagna or plug in the slow cooker to make chicken and dumplings when it’s cold outside, so we can’t afford to get too comfortable on the couch.”

Not only do those foods have extra calories that can lead to weight gain, Flipse contends, but it’s easier to hide a few extra pounds in cold weather. “Warm weather is all about salads and sleeveless shirts," she adds. "But in the winter, we’re eating layers of lasagna and hiding under layers of clothing.”

That is why it’s so important to stay focused on working out this time of year to help cancel out those incoming calories. Fortunately, there are lots of fun, seasonal activities that can do just that.

Put On Your Parka and Head Outdoors!

Try one of these winter activities to burn calories. According to healthstatus.com, a 150-pound person can expect to burn the following calories for every 30 minutes of activity. Give them a try!

  • Cross-country skiing: 387 calories
  • Shoveling snow: 207 calories
  • Skating (moderate): 171 calories
  • Skiing (downhill):  297 calories
  • Sledding:  234 calories
  • Snowmobiling: 117 calories
  • Softball/baseball (snowball fight!): 117 calories
  • Walk/run play with the kids (snow angels, anyone?): 135 calories

You can also bundle up and continue some of your favorite outdoor workouts like jogging (238 calories) or walking (148 calories @ 3 mph).