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Winter Time: Get Up & Outside!

Wow, it’s winter! Get out and enjoy all the frosty frills winter has to offer! There’s a lot to do beyond the couch for individuals, as well as families.

The following are some great reasons to get out:

  • With family or with friends, activities help to build social skills for youth as well as adults.
  • Outdoor activities can increase or maintain your physical activity ability. Whether it is walking around the block or snowshoeing, you are expending calories. The type of activity and the effort you put into it determine calorie expenditure; the more you do, the more calories expended. The USDA recommends 60 or more minutes of physical activity a day for children ages 6 years and older and 2.5 hours of moderate physical activity for adults per week.
  • You can increase your involvement in community activities in the public and private sector. Lots of communities have outdoor recreation programs geared toward individual age groups, specific events or families in general. The South Dakota Game Fish and Parks Department has winter sporting equipment available for loan. A listing of products is available on their website or call 605.362.2777. A brief list of things to do includes snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, ice fishing or hiking at one of the many state parks.
  • When venturing out, keep safety in mind!  If you are going out by yourself, carry a cell phone and be sure to let others know where you are going and your plans for returning.
  • Dress in layers to allow for taking off or adding clothing, to maintain warmth and comfort.
  • Keep equipment in good operating condition to prevent injuries.
  • Take time to warm up and cool down your muscles to prevent strains and sprains.

Following is a brief list of winter activities and estimated calorie expenditure for an individual weighing approximately 175 pounds for 30 minutes:

Activity:Calories expended:
Walking, 3 mph131
Cross Country Skiing, moderate318
Ice Skating278
Snow Shoeing318

Source: SDSU Extension; Get Up & Out!