4 Outdoor Winter Activities You Can Prepare for at the Gym

person ready to go skiing on a bright, sunny day
You can really work up a sweat with these outdoor winter activities! Here's how to prepare at the gym.

by Catherine Santino

Winter is fast-approaching, but that doesn't mean you have to hibernate! There are plenty of great outdoor winter activities that'll have you working up a sweat in no time — despite the frigid temperatures. Not only is there tons to do outside during winter, there are so many ways you can prepare in the gym.

Sports like snowboarding, skiing, and skating all provide a thorough workout, so it's important to prepare yourself for these activities beforehand. This will help boost your strength and endurance, as well as prevent injuries.

Luckily, the gym offers an array of machines and workouts that can get your body in tip-top shape for some winter fun. Here are four outdoor winter activities you can train for at the gym.

1. Skiing

There's nothing quite like the rush of adrenaline experienced while zipping down ski slopes on a cold, sunny day. In addition to being just plain fun, skiing is also a great cardiovascular exercise, as well as a good way to strengthen your lower body and promote flexibility.

Try using the elliptical machine to get ready for an upcoming skiing adventure. The machine mimics the motion of cross-country skiing, boosts your heart rate and works your leg muscles. The more time you spend on the elliptical, the longer you may be able to last on the slopes!

2. Ice Skating

The pros may make it look easy during the Winter Olympics, but ice skating requires an incredible amount of balance, stability, and strength. By using your gym'sleg press machine and trying out a new abdominal routine, you can get your body in gear for an athletic day at the rink.

Standing leg lifts are also a great way to improve your balance (both on and off the ice), especially if you anticipate getting fancy with some one-legged skating moves.

3. Snowshoeing

Snowshoeing may seem like the least strenuous of all the winter sports, but it actually can be pretty challenging. You'll need a lot of endurance (and leg strength) in order to trek through long, scenic paths of ice and snow, which is why the stair climber is a perfect machine to train on! You'll be able to build up your stamina while also strengthening your lower body — which is a must when it comes to most outdoor winter activities.

4. Snowboarding

Snowboarding can be a super fun way to spend a winter weekend. To have the best (injury-free) experience on the slopes, you can prepare your body with some key exercises. This outdoor sport is all about balance, so a comprehensive core routine is essential for improving your skills. Planking for one minute, two to three times a day, can vastly improve your core strength.

After you've prepared for these winter activities in the gym, grab some buddies, bundle up, head outside, and enjoy! As always, please consult with a physician prior to beginning any exercise program. See full medical disclaimer here.