Outdoor activities provide exercise throughout winter

Joy Wessels

Staying in shape can be hard to do throughout the winter. The intimidation of cold weather draws us indoors, Iowa State’s facilities are more crowded and the variety in what you can do to stay fit is confined to indoor activities.

Or is it? If you think the only option for exercising lies inside, then you might not be aware of the different outdoor activities Ames has to offer.

If you really want to blast some calories, try cross-country skiing. You can burn up to 300 calories in just half an hour by trying out this exercise. Even if you’ve never cross-country skied before or don’t have a pair of skis, there are places in Ames from which you can rent them.

Jax Outdoor Gear, located just past the intersection of Lincoln Way and North Dakota Avenue, offers cross-country skis and boots for $16 per day and $8 for every additional day after that.

If you’re looking for something a little closer to campus, the Outdoor Recreation Program located in Beyer Hall offers a cross-country ski package for just $6 per day. They also hand out maps of good places to use the skis, including the ISU cross-country course that’s groomed during the winter and Ledges State Park in Boone.

These two rental places also offer snowshoes. Although they might seem a little awkward at first, once you find your balance you can even start to run in them. This is another workout that will get your heart rate up and allow you to burn calories quickly. The Outdoor Recreation Program offers snowshoes at a price of $5 while Jax rents them for $12 per day.

Just because we live in Iowa doesn’t mean we can’t hit the slopes. Seven Oaks in Boone offers eight different trails and discounted ski and snowboard packages on Wednesdays and Thursdays. On these nights, you can get a lift ticket for just $10 and a rental for $17. Not only can you enjoy the outdoors, but you can also get a good workout in as well.

The weather is getting colder, but that doesn’t mean you have to stay inside doing the same workouts over and over. Try one of these activities to enjoy the outdoors while staying fit.