When winter settles in, it can make it hard to keep up with your fitness goals. The snow and ice make going for a run dangerous. Working out at the gym gets boring after a few weeks. But you don’t have to spend the cold months hibernating. In Michigan, winter provides a whole new set of ways to burn calories.
1. Downhill Skiing – You can burn almost 500 calories an hour participating in the world’s most ubiquitous winter sport. Michigan has 49 ski areas, 269 lifts, 50 terrain parks, almost 1,000 runs and the country’s only ski flying hill. It’s not hard to find a place to hit the slopes in The Mitten State. Try one of these three Northern Michigan ski resorts: Boyne Highlands, Boyne Mountain, Nub’s Nob.
2. Cross-country skiing – If downhill skiing isn’t your thing, give cross-country skiing a try. This winter sport burns a whopping 600 calories an hour, and it’s a great cardiovascular workout. You’ll find plenty of groomed trails in Michigan, especially in our state parks. You can’t beat the scenery as you glide through a wooded winter wonderland. Petoskey State Park is one of many with groomed cross-country ski trails.
3. Snowshoeing – A couple centuries ago, snowshoes were a necessity for transportation when the snow in Michigan got too deep. Now, it’s a fun form of recreation and exercise. It burns around 470 calories an hour. The great thing about this sport is that you can do it almost anywhere you can find a snowy trail. Many cross-country ski routes also allow you to use snowshoes on them. Michigan State Parks often have snowshoes available for rent, if you don’t have your own. The parks also offer special group hikes throughout the winter. Check out their Lantern Lit Snowshoe Hiking events.
4. Snowboarding – Thrill seekers love snowboarding. A newer sport, it’s become more mainstream in recent years. Many Michigan ski resorts also have snowboarding hills and terrain parks, including the ones mentioned above. You’ll burn about 400 calories an hour.
5. Ice Skating – Ice skating is another good way to get in your winter workout. You’ll burn about 460 calories an hour. Many Michigan towns have outdoor ice rinks. The Petoskey Winter Sports Park features two ice rinks as well as many other opportunities for outdoor winter activities.
6. Fat Tire Biking – Fat tire bikes are the newest form of winter recreation. Invented just in the last 30 years, these bikes, that let cyclists keep on going all winter, are growing in popularity. Wide rims and bigger tires make it possible to pedal through snow. You’ll burn off approximately 540 calories an hour. Many places in Michigan are getting on board, establishing groomed trails just for fat tire bikes. In Traverse City you’ll find a nine-mile, single-track trail where you can ride your fat bike.
7. Sledding and Tubing – Who says you can’t be a kid again? Grad you kid’s sled, find a hill and go for a ride. That walk back up the hill is a good workout, burning around 400 calories an hour. If your backyard is flat, plenty of city parks in Michigan have hills open to the public. Many ski resorts also offer tubing.