Looking for something new to do this winter? We have some great ideas that can keep you moving and your heart healthy. While we know that it can be harder, in the winter, to get motivated to go outside and do things, we hope that you give some of these heart healthy winter activities a try. After all, we live in Colorado, a true winter’s paradise. So, we encourage you to get out and enjoy it to the fullest.
If you enjoy hiking in the summer, then snowshoeing in the winter is perfect for you. What is great about snowshoeing is that you get a chance to experience places you would not normally see during the winter months while getting in a good cardio workout that also help reduce stress. Plus, Colorado has many different options when it comes trails – both expert and beginner.
One of the best places to go is in Rocky Mountain National Park’s Bear Lake Trail. This trail is very popular in the summer and fall months, but in the winter it is not very crowded and the pure scenic beauty of seeing it at winter is incredible. Bear Lake offers short and easy trails and you can even hike up into the woods for nearby Nymph Lake. The trail around the lake itself is flat and easy to navigate, while the trail to Nymph Lake offers a gentle climb. Just be sure to bundle up and wear layers as the air off the lake is can be chilly, especially if there is a little wind.
Who says that Colorado is all about snowboarding and skiing? Ice skating is a great winter activity that can keep you healthy and having fun. Here in Denver, Skyline Park in Downtown has a seasonal rink that people can enjoy. But, for a real adventure, take a short drive up to Evergreen Lake for a true picture postcard experience. This tree-lined lake looks like something out of a Norman Rockwell painting. Plus, they have a boardwalk and a warming hut complete with fireplace and hot chocolate. Just be sure to call their hotline before heading up as ice conditions can change daily with fluctuating weather.
Skating has many great benefits including cardio, endurance as well as helping improve balance and keep joints healthy. Many fitness experts tout skating to be more beneficial than cycling and running as it works almost every muscle group in the body. Plus, if you choose an outdoor location, like Evergreen Lake, it can really help reduce stress as you take in the scenic surroundings.
This is for the child in all of us. In fact, just thinking about sledding makes most people smile. Who doesn’t love sledging? If you have kids, or have grandkids, taking them sledding is great fun, especially if you know where to go. Ruby Hill Park here in Denver is always popular with locals and is the city’s only truly ordained sled hill. You can bet that on any declared “snow day”, there will be many families there and having fun. Another great place, in the southern metro area, is Sledding Hill Park in Littleton just on the Northwest corner of S. Kipling and W. Ken Caryl. If you want to venture up Highway 285, just east of Conifer is Meyer Ranch Park. This is a popular sled hill right in the picturesque foothills and is a great place to take your out-of-town visitors for a true “Colorado” sledding experience.
Believe it or not, there are some health benefits to sledding. First of all, it is just plain old fun. So, it is a great stress reducer which will help lower blood pressure, give you more energy, and just make you happier. But, you also can burn calories. In fact, you can burn up to 450 calories per hour, mostly because you have to walk back up the hill for your next fun-filled ride.
How to Use This Information
We hope that you are finding all sort of fun and new ways to enjoy the winter and stay active. Get outside and have a little fun and try something new. And, when it comes to your heart health, feel free to call us at (303) 744-1065 or contact us online.