We're already in the midst of fall with winter fast approaching. There's a chill in the air, and it's the perfect time to try those cold-weather activities that aren't available the rest of the year.
We're breaking down three outdoor activities for fall and winter that'll get you excited for the cold—we know, shocking. Plus, find well-known spots in the US where you can give them a try. Let's check it out.
Fall is arguably the best season for hiking, and for good reason. During this season, you'll find cooler temperatures and beautiful scenery of the leaves changing color, and you conveniently avoid the busy season in many famous US trails.
The benefits of hiking are vast and include anything from increasing endurance and getting in your cardio to unwinding and reducing stress.
As a physical activity, hiking provides excellent cardiovascular exercise and will help you work muscles like your quads, hamstrings, and calves. The activity also strengthens your core and improves balance. The steeper the elevation, the more intense of a workout you'll get.
Both fall and winter provide spectacular views on many US trails. One example is the Appalachian Trail, spanning the Appalachian Mountains from Georgia to Maine.
If you visit this trail in the fall, you'll find an incredible view of colorful foliage and cool but comfortable temperatures. And if you travel in the winter, you'll see fantastic views through the bare trees and be able to experience the trail without the crowds.
While you can hike any time of year, venturing out during the fall and winter seasons will give you a unique experience with fewer people around, cooler temperatures, and the infinite beauty of nature.
2. Downhill Skiing
When the snow sets in, you know it's time for skiing. Skiing is a favorite seasonal pastime for many—downhill skiing is one of the most popular winter sports in the world.
There are over 2,000 downhill ski areas in the world, spread across 67 countries, along with many reasons to like the sport.
Like hiking, skiing is a great form of cardiovascular exercise. Intense skiing can even produce similar effects on the body to sprint interval training. This fun activity involves endurance, strength, and balance.
Skiing is unique in that while it's a form of exercise, it's also considered a form of leisure. This means that skiing can help contribute to a healthy lifestyle.
Interestingly, skiing requires the body to adapt to harsh conditions like the cold and high altitude. Regular skiing can thus have benefits like improving cardiorespiratory fitness and motor abilities.
If you're looking for a place to ski, the US offers tons of options. Well-known states that offer the activity include Colorado, Montana, and Wyoming. One resort to try is Big Sky Resort in Montana. This resort offers nearly 6,000 acres of ski trails, with options for various difficulty levels.
Wherever you choose, skiing is a must-try for a complete winter experience.
3. Ice Skating
Last but not least, when the weather gets cold enough, the skates come out. Ice skating is a memorable fall and winter experience that anyone can try. With this activity, you'll be testing your balance, coordination, and flexibility.
Ice skating is considered a low-impact exercise, making it doable for anyone. While this is not a physically intense activity, ice skating can work your leg muscles and core. If you ice skate regularly, you can enhance joint flexibility, build leg strength, and improve endurance.
In the US, you'll see many ice skating rinks begin to open as the weather cools. If you're looking for an unforgettable skating experience, the iconic Rockefeller Center in New York City is the place to be. Rockefeller Center offers a beautiful outdoor skating rink in the center of New York City, open to anyone.
Ice skating here is especially memorable during the holiday season. You'll be surrounded by Manhattan's skyline, twinkly lights, and the famous Rockefeller Christmas tree. Rockefeller definitely offers a skating experience for the books.
Just because it's cold doesn't mean you have to huddle up inside for the next few months. Activities like hiking, skiing, and ice skating can be both super enjoyable and beneficial for your physical health.
Try out these fall and winter activities while they're available to take advantage of the cooler temperatures and challenge yourself. You got this.
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