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What's Up Magazine

Staying Active this Winter

Jan 18, 2012 07:16PM ● By Cate Reynolds
You can still burn quite a bit of calories during the winter months. “Welcome the new year as your year to become physically fit and keep your vascular system healthy,” said Anil Hingorani, MD, a member of the Society for Vascular Surgery®. “Winter sports burn calories, increase your heart rate, and keep your blood flowing at a healthy rate.”

Hourly caloric burns include (according to

  • Cross country skiing - burns 511 calories on a 160 lb. person
  • Downhill skiing - burns 365 calories on a 160 lb. person
  • Ice hockey – burns 563 calories on a 155 lb. person
  • Ice skating - burns 511 calories on a 160 lb. person
  • Shoveling snow by hand - 400 calories on a 140 lb. person
  • Tobogganing – burns 493 calories on a 155 lb. person

Of course, persons who reside in warmer climes can spend the winter months enjoying activities such as:

  • Bicycling at a leisurely pace – burns 281 calories for a 155 lb. person
  • Golf carrying clubs - burns 329 calories for a 160 lb. person
  • Walking the dog slowly – burns 211 calories for a 155 lb. person.

“Thirty minutes of exercise daily is the minimum for maintaining proper weight and good blood flow,” said Dr. Hingorani. “Exercise may reduce the risk of stroke, the fourth leading cause of death in America according to the United States Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s 2010 National Vital Statistics Report. In 2010, 137,000 Americans died of stroke.

Daily exercise, a healthy diet, not smoking, and a healthy body weight help to maintain good vascular health. There are non-invasive tests that can screen for vascular disease. Medications are available that can help control vascular disease.

Every year, the lack of regular physical activity results in 250,000 deaths according to a 2003 report in the medical journal, Circulation. Persons who are least physically fit have a mortality risk 4.5 times higher than physically fit persons.

For vascular health information, visit: