A lot of people hibernate in winter–they renew health club membership or invest in a treadmill for their basement. They forgo the fresh air and sunshine to get their heart rate up in climate controlled space under fluorescent lights. Environ Girl encourages you to EMBRACE the silent season–snow and ice can be your friend and the best thing about winter sports? They’re mostly cheap or free! Once you give them a try, you’ll be WANTING the weather forecast to tell you more flakes are in the forecast!
* Ice skating–in Wisconsin Enviro Girl can rent skates for $2 a pair, but used skates abound at Play it Again Sports starting at $15. Whether doing figure eights or playing hockey, skating is excellent cardiovascular exercise and really works your quads and glutes, all while strengthening your balance!
* Snow shoes let you run across the snow, again working your lower body and letting you see some of the most beautiful and hidden parts of the woods. Many nature preserves rent shoes for $5, you can buy your own for $35 on up. All you need is snow!
* Sledding. Seriously. It’s a thrill going down, you get a great work out climbing back up the hill. A steep sled hill puts a stair climber to shame. A sled costs $5 and your rosy cheeks from laughing will be priceless.
* Cross-country skiing. The ultimate work out–both your upper and lower body are in the act as you glide across the snow. This is Enviro-Girl’s sport of choice and she reports always working up a sweat when she heads out. Most golf courses convert to ski trails and any recreational trail covered in snow can be skied across. Cross country ski equipment rental starts at $10 for a day–again, you can buy your own used equipment for under $100.
*Running. It can be done if the pavement is clear, however Enviro Girl has seen treads that runners can strap on to their running shoes that help gain traction on icy surfaces. Winter runners need to remember to dress in layers and stretch ahead of time so the cold weather doesn’t shock your muscles.
Working out in winter weather requires layers of clothes and a willingness to try–once you get moving, you’ll warm up right away. All of these sports are user-friendly–from 3 to 103, people of all skill levels can enjoy sledding, snow-shoeing and cross-country skiing. The great thing about each of these silent winter sports, besides their price tag, is they are environmentally friendly, leaving no trace on our planet besides tracks that will melt away by springtime.
Tell the Eco Women: do you enjoy silent sports in winter?