Here’s the list from least to most calories burned.
If you’re one of those people who thinks exercise at the gym feels too much like—umm—exercise, you might think summer is your best season to get in shape. The warm weather allows you to run at the park, swim, take long walks with the dog, and go hiking at the mountains nearby.
As workout-friendly as summertime is, you’re no doubt missing out if you think winter has no good workouts to offer. There are lots of full-body activities to do in the winter, and some of them feel way too fun to be work. (Some are admittedly less fun, but they’re definitely productive. )
Here’s how many calories you’d burn in 30 minutes for the following activities (calculated for a 155-pound person):
Pushing your snow blower burns 167 calories. Look, you know it’s not super fun, but you kind of have to do it anyway if you want to drive to Starbucks later.
Shoveling snow by hand burns 223 calories. It’s harder than using the snow blower, but your body reaps the benefits. Hey, maybe you could ask your neighbor if they need their driveway cleaned off, too? (Just beware: Here are snow shoveling mistakes that can cause injuries.)
Downhill skiing burns 223 calories. Okay, that’s way more fun than shoveling snow. Plus, you get to drink cocoa in the chalet afterwards.
Sledding (e.g. with a toboggan) burns 260 calories. Turns out, one of your favorite childhood activities was a pretty killer workout. The key is trekking up the hill—paving a path through a foot of snow—while wearing heavy snow boots. (Your calves are probably burning just thinking about it.)
Ice skating burns 260 calories, and that’s just for the basic skate-in-circles-around-the-rink activity. If you’re racing or doing tricks, that number goes up.
Ice hockey burns 298 calories. Hockey is great cardio, and it since it’s on ice, it takes a little more core work to keep you balanced. Plus, you’ll get an arm workout from swinging your hockey stick.
Cross-country skiing burns 298 calories. It’s a little harder than downhill skiing (you don’t have the pull of gravity on your side), which means it’s a better workout.
Snowshoeing burns 298 calories. It’s hard to believe that *walking* is such a good workout, but the resistance from the snow makes it surprisingly strenuous. The type of terrain you’re on (whether it’s flat or hilly) can also make a big difference.
Wanna stay indoors? Here are ways to burn calories without leaving the house.
Calories burned in 30 minutes for people of three different weights. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Health Publishing, 2018. (Accessed on December 5, 2018 at https://www.health.harvard.edu/diet-and-weight-loss/calories-burned-in-30-minutes-of-leisure-and-routine-activities.)