A park or playground is the perfect place for some outdoor winter fun.

Have Fun with these 5 Winter Fitness Outings

Winter isn’t just for cozying up by the fire, it’s also an invigorating season for outdoor exercise. Get creative with the ideas below or come up with a few of your own. You’ll have fun and get strong, while waking up your senses to the beauty of the season. Talk about triple the benefit!

1. Celebrate the Season

Suit up and enjoy the aftermath of a rainstorm by taking a puddle-stomping walk. Stock up for holiday celebrations by visiting a farm, whether it’s to sample local cheese, chop a Christmas tree, tap some maple sugar, or just pet the animals.  Take a walk down a colorfully lit street or hike a scenic trail. Getting outdoors will help you heat up while beating the winter blahs.

2. Enjoy a Winter Wonderland

If it snows where you live, take a toboggan or disc out and slide down the nearest hill. (The walk back up is a great workout.) And ice skating is a winter wonderland workout you can enjoy in both cold and warm-weather climes, thanks to the seasonal ice rinks opening in many urban areas.

3. Explore Neighborhood Playgrounds

Find a local playground or park and see if you can keep up with the neighborhood kids. One special upper body challenge can be found on the monkey bars. You may find you have to start with a simple hang or work up to it by practicing assisted pull ups. Or bring along a soccer ball, badminton set, or other sports equipment on the next family park outing. A few minutes of competitive play and everyone will be plenty warm.

4. Workout with Chores

Shoveling snow, raking leaves, and splitting logs are all solid workouts. But you don’t need to be a lumberjack for your abs to benefit from chopping wood – you can use a weighted “medicine” ball as your axe! A dumbbell or jug of water also works fine for this fitness move, which you can do at home while watching your favorite movie by the fire.

5. Go to the Zoo

Zoos, aquariums, natural history museums, and amusement parks are great chilly day destinations for all ages. Check your pedometer or fitness app and you might be surprised how many steps you log in a day of visiting the tigers or penguins. And many add festive holiday decorations and themed displays for even more fun.

Melanie Haiken writes about health, wellness and fitness for national magazines and websites. She specializes in discovering and reporting the latest research on diet, nutrition, fitness, weight loss and other health-related topics. Her award-winning stories have appeared in Fitness, Shape, Health, Forbes, and other respected magazines. She also contributes health stories to numerous Kaiser Permanente newsletters and other publications.