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Best Ways To Lose Weight and Stay in Shape During Winter

Best Ways To Lose Weight and Stay in Shape During Winter

During the coldest months of the year, it can be difficult to find the motivation to exercise and keep in shape. On particularly cold and snowy days, aiming for a quick cardio workout in the comfort of your own home might be the most attractive option. However, the best ways to lose weight and stay in shape during winter actually require you to get outside.

 

Cross-country skiing

 

There’s nothing quite like cross-country skiing for an intense aerobic workout. One big reason why cross-country skiing delivers such a caloric burn is because you are literally engaging all of the muscles of your body – your legs, your glutes, your core and your arms. For a less intense workout, search out groomed paths where the snow has already been packed down.

 

Winter hiking

 

If you live near hills, mountains or nature trails, you should definitely consider the calorie-burning appeal of winter hiking. According to one research study, you actually burn 34 percent more calories when hiking in extremely cold temperatures than in more moderate temperatures. Moreover, you can increase the aerobic value of winter hiking by carrying a heavy backpack or searching out trails with steep inclines or uneven terrain.

 

Just a word of caution, however: if you plan to do hiking in extremely snowy or icy conditions, it’s best to bring along a pair of crampons that you can quickly slide on and off your hiking boots. The best crampons have strategically placed steel spikes that really dig into icy surfaces, giving you very secure traction.

 

Running

 

For urban outdoor enthusiasts, running might be a more practical option than winter hiking. You can actually run faster and longer in the cold, and this makes it a great training option for those looking to get ready for spring and summertime races.

 

As in the case of winter hiking, though, you will definitely want to make winter traction a priority. Most serious runners prefer to wear ice cleats or urban running spikes for additional traction. A lot depends on your specific geographic location – if your neighbors don’t clear the sidewalks, or if you live in a more rural location, you will definitely want to strap on a pair of ice cleats before heading out for a run.

 

Ice skating

 

There’s something relaxing about gliding along a frozen pond or ice rink during winter, which is why you might not think of ice skating as a top workout for losing weight. The key here is making sure that you are adding in lots of turns and change of pace – the more that you are bending your knees and moving your body, the more calories you will burn. And to ramp thing up even more – you can turn a day of ice skating into a casual game of ice hockey with your friends or family.

 

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Getting outside is a must during the winter months. Exercise options such as winter hiking, cross-country skiing and winter running are some of the best ways to lose weight (and then keep the weight off!) during the coldest months of the year.

5 Tips For Taking Your Winter Hike From Good to Great

5 Tips For Taking Your Winter Hike From Good to Great

Many people assume that a winter hike is the same as a summer hike, only in colder temperatures. But those colder temperatures - as well as the potential for snow, sleet, ice and freezing rain - dramatically change the way you should prepare for a hike during the coldest months of winter. Here are 5 tips for taking your winter hike from good to great.

 

Tip #1: Always dress in layers

 

Dressing in layers is not optional in winter. The reason is simple: temperatures can differ greatly, especially at the summit and at the base. Moreover, moisture and cold temperatures can quickly bring an end to your hike or trek if you are not prepared. When dressing in layers, be sure to wear (or pack) waterproof pants, a light fleece, and a soft shell jacket. And while you’re at it - don’t forget to stash an extra fleece in your backpack.

 

Tip #2: Make safety a priority

 

Safety should not be an afterthought, or something that you only practice when it is too late. Instead, take time to study your trail map in advance, be sure to pack an emergency first-aid kit, and bring along some extra tools - like a pocketknife or compass - that could come in handy later.

 

Tip #3: Pack a set of ice cleats or crampons

 

You never know where you are going to encounter a slick patch of ice on the trail, or where you might need to pass through a snowy road. To ensure that your footing is as secure as possible, think about packing a pair of stainless steel ice cleats, such as those sold by Yatta Life. These ice grips are specifically designed to dig into frozen surfaces, giving you safe passage. Best of all, they slip on and off easily, and can be stored safely in your backpack when you don’t need them.

 

Tip #4: Invest in quality gear

 

As you might have guessed from Tip #3 above, it pays to invest in the right gear for the types of unpredictable weather conditions you might encounter on a trail. Thus, while it’s good to have a soft shell jacket with you, it’s great if that soft shell jacket also happens to be waterproof. When you’re out on a winter hike - and especially in a location that is not familiar to you - it’s important to be able to trust your gear.

 

Tip #5: Be ready to change plans on a moment’s notice

 

Often, getting to the top is not the problem - it’s getting back down that’s the real difficulty. That’s why it pays to think ahead and anticipate changing trail and mountain conditions. If you are checking the weather and see that snow is on the way sooner than expected, now might be a good time to turn back. It all depends on whether you’ve packed the right gear and how experienced you are. For example, temperatures plummeting to below freezing might scare off inexperienced hikers, but might not dampen the enthusiasm of experienced hikers with ice traction systems for their boots.

 

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Finally, the best advice is probably the most practical advice - adjust your trail and distance according to the season. A 5-kilometer route in the middle of summer when you have little gear with you is very different than a 5-kilometer route in the middle of winter, when you might only have very limited visibility. With these five tips, however, you’ll be prepared for anything that Mother Nature throws your way.

The Best Jackets for Winter Adventures 2017

The Best Jackets for Winter Adventures 2017

Winter is here yet no one can stop you from getting outside and exploring the mountains! We can't blame you! For some of us, winter is a time for hibernating, but for some, it's a time to see and enjoy nature in a different season. Mountains on its own are beautiful and majestic, but mountains and snow together are just magical! It's a view you will never regret hiking or trekking for. In this blog, we give you a list of the top-rated winter jackets for your winter adventures, why they're great and what these brands are claiming these jackets provide. 

PATAGONIA SNOWSHOT JACKET 

Anyone who’s bummed their way through a season or two knows the importance of being on a first-name basis with the patrol, avoiding your buddy’s landlord and keeping your options open whenever new storms arrive. Patagonia's motion-friendly Snowshot, designed for superior comfort and mobility, lets you slip through the season’s highs and lows. Snowshots have a fabric package that includes a burly H2No® Performance Standard 2-layer polyester shell (70% recycled) with a waterproof/breathable barrier for storm protection. A DWR (durable water repellent) finish increases the fabric’s durability and keeps you dry when you’re flying through mucky weather. Lightweight, slick mesh lines the body and sleeves to wick away moisture and provide a smooth glide over layers. Articulated arms let you move naturally, and pit zips offer up a quick-venting option when you’re working up steam. Weather-sealing features include a 2-way-adjustable, helmet-compatible hood with a laminated visor; soft microfleece panels for your neck and chin to protect from wind blasts; and a low-profile powder skirt (with webbing loop that connects to any Patagonia® Snow pants) that provides an always-ready seal when you’re in the deep. Zippered pockets include two handwarmers, one chest (with media pocket and cable routing) and one internal stash pocket. There's also an internal drop-in pocket for goggles and gloves. 

ARC'TERYX ZETA AR WOMEN'S JACKET

Designed for versatility with a focus on trekking and hiking, the Zeta AR is made from N70p 3L GORE-TEX® fabric with GORE® C-KNIT™ backer technology. This material delivers durable waterproof, windproof, highly breathable protection with a backer technology that makes the fabric exceptionally supple, quiet and comfortable. Articulation in the sleeves and gusseted underarms provide freedom of movement.

Hardwired for the trail, the Zeta AR is built for exploring big terrain. On extended outings or when working hard in mixed conditions, the WaterTight™ pit zippers provide rapid ventilation. The low profile Arc’teryx StormHood™ delivers full protection and cinches securely with a single adjuster for a fit that moves with the head and provides exceptional peripheral vision. The hip length with drop back hem extends coverage and rides comfortable under a hipbelt. An internal laminated pocket stows and protects a smartphone or wallet, and two hand pockets with WaterTight™ zippers are accessible while wearing a pack or harness.

WOMEN'S OUTDRY™ EX DIAMOND DOWN INSULATED JACKET 

Part of the Titanium line, this fully seam sealed down jacket solves all your problems: it’s exceptionally warm without being heavy or bulky, and it’s as waterproof-breathable as it gets. We combined 800-fill power goose down insulation that’s been treated for water resistance with our innovative OutDry™ Extreme technology, the first-ever waterproof and breathable fabric constructed with a rugged, long-lasting waterproof layer on the outside and soft, wicking fabric inside. Finally, a waterproof, down-insulated rain jacket. This cold and wet stopping coat features 2-way pit vents, a 2-way front zipper, contoured cuffs for better coverage at top of hand, and a snap-back powder skirt to seal out wayward snow on those super deep days. This product is made with 100% responsibly sourced down. Columbia Sportswear Company is committed to ensuring the highest industry animal welfare guidelines.

ARC'TERYX MEN'S THORIUM 

 

Arc’teryx designs for use in true alpine conditions. This requires an elevated performance that comes from careful design and patterning. The Thorium’s Athletic fit is streamlined and layers easily under a hardshell in cold conditions. Articulation built into the sleeves and gussets under the arm provide a level of freedom of movement not often found in an insulated jacket. This ergonomic freedom is an Arc’teryx design commitment that infuses every piece they make. Because the Thorium AR is intended as a midlayer, Arc’teryx is able to use sewn through construction to further reduce weight and increase packability.

Arc’teryx Down Composite Mapping technology combines the goose down insulation with panels of Coreloft™ synthetic insulation in areas prone to moisture. Used in the collar, cuffs and under the arms, the Coreloft™ insulates even if wet. Down is used in the sleeves and around the body’s core. The Thorium’s tall collar seals out drafts, and two zippered pockets secure small essentials.

NORTH FACE MORPH JACKET 
Tie in and climb through the winter in this ultra warm, lightweight hoodie that’s insulated with 800 fill down and features our engineered, woven-chamber construction that reduces stitching and eliminates cold spots. A harness-friendly Alpine Fit is specifically designed for vertical movement. Women’s ultra-warm, packable down jacket designed for climbing. Harness- and pack-friendly pocket placement. Attached, adjustable hood. Product certified to the responsible down standard (RDS) by Control Union
CANADA GOOSE HYBRIDGE LITE HOODY MEN'S JACKET
800 Fill Power Hutterite White Goose Down. Down origin: North America. Down hood with stretch binding around opening for enhanced warmth and fit. Reflective tape on back of hood for added visibility in low light. Quilt-through design keeps this layer lightweight, easy to move in and reduces pack size. Tensile-Tech™ fabric under arms and side panels for extended comfort and maximized fiT. Stretch cuff binding with thumbloops help sleeves stay put and make layering easy. Packs into left exterior pocket for easy storage in unpredictable weather and doubles as a travel pillow.