Let me start this post off by stating that I am really not a fan of winter.  Cold weather?  No thanks.  Extra coats, gloves, hats?  Not for me.  Slushy, dirty streets?  YUCK!  Give me shorts and a tank top and the hot summer sun ANY DAY!Skiing at Boyne

However.

I do love winter sports.

There.  I said it.  It’s out there.

For all my summer loving ways,  I really, truly love winter sports.

I think it has something to do with the fact that it allows me to be active and enjoy being outside (which I love) even when the weather isn’t perfect.

Every year when we hit the ski slopes, and I get to zoom (okay, maybe slowly ski) down that freshly groomed, corduroy run, the sun bright and the sky impossibly blue, my spirits just rise.  It’s just so darn beautiful.  And somehow, I can forget the cold, the dreary short days, the hassle of all the extra clothes.  At least for those few hours when I’m on the slopes, everything is lovely in the world again.

A few years ago I discovered snow shoeing.  Which for a Hoosier stuck in the middle of the country, without a mountain in site, was a wonderful discovery.  As long as we get enough snow, I can strap on my snow shoes and head out into the backyard and onto the nearby golf course.  It’s not quite as exhilarating as swishing down a mountain, but at least I can be outside enjoying the day instead of inside stuck on a treadmill.  And it’s such hard work I never get cold!

That’s the other great thing about winter sports.  Even though I’m having such a blast, I’m getting one heck of a workout.  Check these statistics out:

  • Downhill skiing:  burns 233 calories per half hour  – and typically we ski for three or four hours a day!  Also gives your legs and shoulders one heck of a workout!
  • Snow Shoeing: burns 240 calories per half hour – once again terrific workout for your legs!
  • Ice Skating:  burns about 220 calories per half hour – think it might be more if you fall down a lot?  like me?

Even sledding with your kids is quite a workout (and calorie burner – 283 per half hour).  Dragging that sled up the hill over and over will work your heart, legs and arms.  Plus, you’ll be the coolest parent around for taking them out and having some fun.  Just make sure and go home and toast each other with some hot chocolate and popcorn to celebrate!

Last year I shared some resources for how to make winter sports affordable.  Get some great ideas HERE.

Do you like winter sports?  Which ones?  Do you find it as surprising as I do that you enjoy them so much?  I’d love to hear your thoughts, so please share in the comments.

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