Perhaps one of the greatest things about snow is the plethora of winter activities to choose from on a daily basis. As much as we all thrive off of great days skiing or riding, sometimes it's a welcomed change to do something different. Here are some other winter activities to try while enjoying the elements and getting some great exercise.
Take 10 minutes to warm up and stretch before beginning any exercise. Get the muscles loose, the blood pumping, and the rest of your body and mind prepared for physical exertion.
More: Warm Up Before Cold-Weather Exercise
Hiking in the snow is a little bit like walking in the sand. The extra effort put into each step really adds up. Not only does it challenge your calves, but also the rest of your leg muscles and core. For added support try the Yaktrax. Strap on a pair of snowshoes for an additional huff. Most outdoor shops have rental snowshoes available. Hiking or snowshoeing is a great way to spend an afternoon, evening, or full moon during the winter months.
More: Winter Hiking Tips
Skinning is like climbing for winter enthusiasts. Although the setup involves expensive equipment, there are less expensive ways to try out Alpine Touring. Rent the skis, boots, and skins at an outdoor store or borrow a friend's equipment. Make sure that the boots are the right size and are comfortable for your foot. Wrong boots are a little bit like wrong hikers that will leave you with nothing but blisters and misery. Also make sure the boots fit into the bindings properly.
Getting all the way up and not being able to come down is not our kind of fun. Before heading out on the trail, go through the process of putting the skins on your skis and taking them off. You want to make sure they are long enough for the skis as well as staying stuck to the bases. Your effort uphill will become a lot harder for a lot less vertical gain without good skins. Skinning is all up hill from there, once you are dialed in. The reward of earning your every turn is an incredible feeling, all the while getting in a great day's exercise.
More: A Beginner's Guide to Ice Climbing