I have noticed that I start piling on extra pounds when the season changes to winter. This is the time when I become relaxed and stop venturing outside, in order to protect myself from the unrelenting cold weather. Skipping gym sessions and ignoring my kids’ frequent requests for a trip to the amusement park becomes a norm. This season turns me into a lazy slob which (I believe) I am not.

However, this year I decided to get off my butt and do something about my annual sloth. I explored all of the possible activities that I could do and made a to-do list. After completing the list of activities over the entire season, I felt fitter than ever. Surprisingly, I was able to fit into my summer clothes and felt no need to buy new ones (like I normally do after every winter). Here, I am sharing a few activities that I did this winter, so you can get a few pointers on how to stay fit when the weather becomes unforgiving.

1. Snowshoeing for the Daredevils

I have to say, at the first glance, it appeared to me that I will never be able to snowshoe. But with some encouragement from my brother, who by the way is a snow sports junkie, I was able to grasp the nuisances of the sports. The increased level of difficulty of the sport makes it a self-satiating experience. You get to feel a sense of accomplishment after completing a few runs.

Tips: Use trekking poles or ski poles for snowshoeing and make sure that you keep dry by wearing clothes made with moisture-wicking fabric.

2. Ski Downhill for Burning those Extra Calories

I have to say that skiing downhill was by far the most fun experience I had this winter. I was able to enjoy and burn calories at the same time. After hiring a trainer for a few days, I was able to go solo and enjoy skiing on those beautiful white blankets of snow.

Tips: Train well with the help of a professional. Use bunny slopes for acclimatizing yourself with the art of skiing.

3. Nordic Skiing for a wholesome experience

Nordic skiing is a blend of snowshoeing and alpine skiing. This is one sport made for the people who like peaceful and flat trails. If you want a tranquil yet pleasurable experience, Nordic skiing is perfect for you. This activity is great for exercising your lower half without expending too much energy.

Tips: If you are a slow skier, allow faster skiers to pass you by giving them the right of way. Also, if you fall while skiing, make sure that you fill up the “sitz marks” with the snow that has come out of the surface.

4. Ice Climbing for climbing your fears

Let me say first, ice climbing is not meant for the weak hearted. It is a sport that requires proper training and a great amount of commitment. As my brother climbed on the steepest snow hill that I have ever seen, I was amazed by his bravery. He explained to me later, that he also felt the same fear in the beginning, but with proper guidance and commitment he learnt to climb within a few weeks.

Tips: Get the right gear before venturing in to this sport. Perform all basic safety checks, including checking knots and your equipment. Always stand away from the base of climbing routes and fall zones when you're not climbing.