It’s so tempting to put on some sweat pants and snuggle under the covers during winter’s frigid days and nights. It’s OK to seek refuge from the cold, but if you do it all winter long, you’re likely to pack on some unwanted pounds.

To maintain a healthy weight, you need to stay active. Most medical experts recommend at least thirty minutes of daily exercise. If you live in the upper Midwest, that means bundling up and getting outdoors --- no matter what the temperature.

There are all kinds of activities to keep you fit during the winter. Below are some easy ways to burn a few hundred calories while embracing the cold.

Sledding burns 200-250 calories during thirty minutes of fun. You’ll get an aerobic workout as you hike back up the hill.

Snowshoeing is another aerobic workout that will also provide great leg conditioning. A 150-pound person will burn 270 calories during a half-hour hike.

Need something with more speed? Downhill skiing typically burns 150-200 calories depending on your exertion. Fast-paced ice skating will use up 275 calories in a half hour.

Walking outdoors in the winter burns more calories than a warm weather stroll. Just be sure to keep a watchful eye for slippery spots.

Ditch the snow blower and shovel your sidewalks instead. Using the shovel burns 200-300 calories in just 30 minutes.

You don’t need a lot of sports gear to enjoy the outdoors. Build a snowman or a snow fort. Engage in a friendly snowball fight. Make snow angels.

Additional resources

For additional information on fun winter activities and keeping fit in the cold, check out these resources:

Alliance for a Healthier MinnesotaTen fun winter activities

ActiveEight winter activities that burn calories

CalorieLab® - Check this cart for calorie-burning totals

WebMD Winter burn: 10 Outdoor workouts

Know Your Numbers

This information is provided by Health Fair 11 as part of its Know Your Numbers Campaign. Health Fair 11 is a non-profit organization that operates with the support of KARE 11 TV and UCare. Learn more at www.HealthFair11.org.