5 Sports to Try This Winter
Winter is coming. Which means many things: warmer woolly layers, roasted chestnuts and chilly, crisp winter mornings. It also means the end of exercising for many people; however, it needn’t be as there are many sports perfectly suited to the colder months. Whether you’re a thrill seeker, looking to try something new or to do something together with your family, believe it or not, doesn’t have to mean the end of exercise and there are many sports to choose from out there.
1. Ice Skating
The definition of a classic winter sport, ice skating is a perfect way to spend a cold wintery afternoon. A great recreational activity, even if you’re still only at the level of clinging onto the sides for dear life; it is also a good social activity, whether you’re into figure skating, ice hockey or even speed skating. It’s a graceful exercise, one which you’ll end up falling in love with.
A very unique sport that was actually invented in Scotland - the sport itself is almost like a hybrid concoction of bowls and darts. The sport incorporates two teams of four, and individuals take turns to have one person (the curler) slide a granite stone towards a circular target. The closer you’re to the middle, the more points you gain. Whilst the stone is sliding towards the target, two other members (sweepers) influence the speed of the stone by sweeping the ice with brooms, slowing the stone down as it heads closer to the target. A sport which, yet again is on ice, doesn’t require the need for skates. Whilst not a physically taxing sport, it does require great technique and teamwork skills.
Snowshoeing has been around for thousands of years, and there is no better way to begin snowshoeing than just going and doing it! The art of snowshoeing has, granted, become more sophisticated over the years and is now considered a winter sport. Essentially, it is a form of hiking in the snow where your technique is key. It’s also a varied sport, whether you’re hiking for simple pleasure, an enthusiast who treks great distances or you enjoy competing. Whatever your reason for doing it, snowshoeing is also a great activity for a family - it's very easy to learn, with low injury risk, virtually inexpensive, and most importantly a great way to keep warm during those winter months. In terms of competitions there’re snowshoe races, similarly to it's warm-weathered equal, offering 100m sprints, 100km runs and even hurdles!
4. Indoor Ice Climbing
As climbing generally gains in popularity (it is even being included for the first time in the 2020 Tokyo Olympic games) the wintery version of ice climbing is a cool sport to take up during winter – pun intended. But you won’t have to travel to another part of the world to climb 400 tons of ice, as indoor ice climbing centers offer a safer alternative. It’s hard to deny that euphoric feeling you get from reaching the top having conquered the climb. So, if you fancy conquering a wall, or two, this winter and experience the thrill – then what are you waiting for?
Skiing is another classic winter sport, and great for those who want to work on their lower body and core strength. One thing we’d always recommend for beginners, apart from the much-needed lessons, is to attempt walking up the slope instead of taking ski lifts, as if you can, it's a great way to improve your cardiovascular endurance. What’s more, like indoor ice climbing, you don’t have to travel anywhere to practice, with many dry slopes located around the UK. The longest snow slope is in Manchester (Chill Factor) where they also offer courses, which cater to people with a variety of needs.
The arrival of winter shouldn’t stop you from partaking in regular sports, as there are many possible options available out there. What’s more, trying something new, whilst it may seem a bit daunting could lead to a new passion and maybe even one you do all year round
Tags: sports, exercise, Winter, Skiing, fitness, Exercise, Ice skating