Happy Spring! Before the snow goes out for good, let’s look at some of the most fun fitness plans for snowy days, and how the calories add up. We all know that getting whacked in the facte by a snowball is in equal parts annoying and thrilling, but can these activities really help with kid and teen weight loss? See for yourself, and enjoy learning a little more about some of the most exhilarating winter sports.
Snowball fights have been around since at least the 1400’s. The first recorded incident of a violent snowball fight was when the Confederates in Northern Virginia began a friendly snowball fight that somehow resulted in a nine-thousand-rebels brawl. However, as our readers undoubtedly know, snowball fights are an incredibly innocent, fun activity, that thankfully rarely results in injuries. As recently as 2013, one of the largest snowball fights ever recorded occurred in Boston, when 2000 BU students conglomerated in a park and just went crazy. Snowballing is fun for any age, and is a great way to meet people. Just be careful not to pick up ice! A half hour of snowball fighting burns a healthy 160 calories.
Building a snowman
Snowmen, historically, have been an expression of art in cultures that did not have resources to extend their artistic talents. Michaelangelo was once commissioned by the ruler of Florence, Italy to craft a snowman on the front lawn of the ruler’s mansion. It was in fact a craft that was practiced by many skilled artisans, and-in 1511-a giant storm in Brussels started a snowmam building craze in which almost every corner had a snowman, many of a political nature meant to make a statement against the government or church.
Today, while there are certainly intense snowman competitions, and while the occasional ambitious builder will make a snowman that is 50 feet tall (the largest one was 122 feet), most people nonetheless build snowmen to pass time on a day off, as winter fun fitness plans, and as a friendly yet slightly competitive nod to the neighbors. Building a snowman burns 140 calories.
Sleds has been around since at least the Vikings, and probably earlier. Originally, sleds were used for the purpose of getting through the snow, and were pulled by animals like ox. Even the sport of sledding has been a fringe sport that has been around for an unknown amount of time. When you are sledding, you can use a disc, tube, toboggan, or bobsled. Believe it or not, a half hour of sledding burns 200 calories.
Snow Angels: Snow Angels were “invented” by a girl named Anna Thomas in 1904 when she fell in the snow, got up, and realized she’d made a figure that looked like an angel. Snow angels are great fun, but here’s a surprise: If you were to spend a full half hour making angels, you would burn 100 calories.
Ice skating has been around since 3000 BC, at least. Emperor Rudolf II of the Holy Roman Empire in 1610 actually had an ice skating carnival built in his court. In the Netherlands, France, Italy, and many other places, ice skating has been enjoyed for centuries. This sport builds up muscle in your legs like nothing else, when practiced regularly. A half hour of ice skating burns 170 calories.
Arthur Sicard invented the snow blower in 1925. We all know that snow blowing is a drudge, but, actually, it can be quite a profitable activity for children and teens: An entrepreneurial kid can get $15-30 a walkway when snowblowing for neighbors. Snowblowing burns 150 calories every half hour.
Let’s be honest
Snow activities aren’t made for working out. But, as you can see, active kids in the snow can still loseburn between 400 and 700 calories over a period of two hours of fun, and that’s good! And if your kids are looking for a little cash, snow blowing can be a great way for them to not only get into exercise, but also to gain an entrepreneurial spirit. You don’t have to be a pro ice-skater or a hardcore gym-goer to get a workout in the winter-Just step outside and build a snowman! And please, make sure to give the snowman a scarf….it’s cold out there!