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6 Ways To Stay Active in Subzero Temperatures

After an astonishingly warm October, cold weather is beginning to creep upon us this November. Expect rain-lashed roads, rosy cheeks, and numb fingers for the foreseeable future.

But don’t let the endurance you worked hard to build over the summer slip away! There are plenty of ways to stay active and healthy in colder months. With abundant resources on campus, such as the Pegula Ice Arena or those provided by Campus Recreation, there is no reason why you should have to hang up those workout shoes until the summer.

Check out the list below for ideas on how to stay active in this season’s subzero temperatures.


Yoga encompasses both mental and physical health benefits, and it is equally as effective in the winter as it is in warmer months. Combat both seasonal depression and a stationary winter by looking for classes in your area or surfing YouTube for some routines you can practice at home!

cross-country skiing

Although physically demanding and requiring some experience, Nordic skiing is a wonderful way to test your endurance. This activity effectively engages all the muscles in your body because the pushing and pulling motions provide an intense full-body workout. Practicing this exercise for just an hour can burn between 500 to 700 calories.

Girl doing alpine touring
Original photo by Océane Renoud

While many people choose to spend winter by the fire, chilly temperatures are no obstacle to enjoying the great outdoors. Hiking provides a vigorous workout with a chance to appreciate nature, now with the added benefit of a snowball fight along the way! Bring your favorite snacks to keep you energized and research where you plan to hike to avoid dangers.

ice Skating

Ice skating is a great activity for both social and physical health. This low-impact sport is gentle on sensitive joints yet still provides a killer inner-thigh workout. Bond with your buddies while getting a great full-body workout, burning between 400 and 600 calories per hour. You could even play a game of ice hockey! Fancy yourself the next Jack Hughes?

splitting wood

Fireplace owners can kill two birds with one stone by choosing this exercise in colder months. Chopping wood for the winter provides an intense core workout and burns between 400 to 500 calories in an hour. After all, once your workout is over, you can rest your sore muscles by a roaring fire.


Although it might not be as fun in the colder weather, running is an incredible year-round sport. It’s easy, burns plenty of calories, and greatly improves your cardiovascular health. With the correct preparation and clothing, the winter’s low temperatures are no hindrance to enjoying this sport.

Always check the weather and temperature beforehand, dress appropriately, and plan your route to avoid obstacles. Furthermore, a growing amount of evidence proves that working out in the cold burns more calories, so you won’t have to feel guilty about indulging in some hot cocoa after!

Don’t lose all your summer progress. Bare the cold and get exercising!

Em is a British-American student studying Public Relations at Penn State University Park. She is a football fan, of both Manchester City and Buffalo Bills.