Sure, it’s winter, but the cold doesn’t have to keep you inside or stationary. North Dakota offers plenty of outdoor activities that are not only fun, but beneficial to your physical and mental health as well. What are you waiting for? Get outside and get moving!
Cross-country skiing relies on your body’s own strength and stride to navigate snow-covered terrain. For this reason, cross-country skiing is an excellent exercise.
- Full-body workout – Cross-country skiing simultaneously works the lower and upper body, activating the “pulling” and “pushing” muscles of each region to create a full-body workout.
- Burns calories – Cross-country skiing burns more calories than any other form of exercise or sport. You can burn more than 1,000 calories per hour for intense skiing.
- Improves cardiovascular endurance and health – Because no single muscle group is overstressed with cross-country skiing, the activity can be sustained for hours, making it an excellent aerobic workout.
The Minot Park District grooms trails at the Souris Valley Golf Course, Oak Park and the Bison Plant for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. For more information, visit Minot Parks and Recreation | Cross Country Skiing and Snowshoes
Downhill skiing is a great activity for people of all ages and skill types. Plus, it’s beneficial for your physical and mental health.
- Improves balance and core strength – While you’re skiing, your core is constantly engaged as it works to stay balanced. Your engaged core will improve muscle tone in your abdomen and overall core strength.
- Strengthens lower body muscles – You will most certainly feel your legs burning after a day of skiing. That’s because the sport puts you in a constant squat position, working your inner and outer thighs, hamstrings, quads and glutes.
- Boosts your mood – Getting outdoors and exercising promotes increased production of endorphins, which creates feelings of relief and happiness. You can also benefit from the added boost of vitamin D exposure from the sun, which is especially important in the winter when days are shorter.
You don’t have to go far to find great skiing. Bottineau Winter Park is open for skiing, snowboarding and tubing. For more information, visit www.skibwp.com.
Ice skating is a great year-round exercise as many cities have indoor ice-skating rinks that allow you to enjoy the activity no matter the temperature outside. Stability, control and strength are key elements in the sport that make it a healthy activity for all ages.
- Improves joint flexibility – Because skating relies on quick foot movements and strong knees, your leg joints will no doubt receive a great workout.
- Endurance – Ice skating is an excellent way to build endurance as it requires you to use energy over an extended period. As with other sports, the longer you skate, the more you’ll improve your endurance.
- Weight management – Ice skating is a good way to burn calories while having fun. You can burn between 300 and 650 calories per hour, depending on the intensity of your skate.
The Minot Park District maintains four outdoor rinks: Corbett Field, Polaris Park, Roosevelt School, and Perkett School. The rinks are open from 4:00 to 9:30 p.m. Monday – Friday and 12:00 to 9:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. For more information, visit https://minotparks.com/outdoor-rinks/
Maysa Arena offers indoor skating; visit https://minotparks.com/maysa-arena/for public skating times.
Sledding is a fun family activity and an excellent workout for children and adults! Sledding works on our endurance, cardiovascular fitness and total body strength (between lugging a sled uphill and drudging through snowy terrain) and encourages core stability and control during the fast ride down.
Minot Park District offers sledding at Souris Valley Golf Course during the winter months (weather permitting). For a map, visit https://minotparks.com/outdoor-rinks/.
Ice fishing requires a great deal of focus and awareness. This takes your mind off internal conflict and stress. As a result, it helps to reduce anxiety, fight off depression and promote relaxation.
Believe it or not, ice fishing can be quite beneficial to your physical health, too. Walking to an ice-fishing hole or house, for example, can burn about 400 calories per hour. Plus, your back and shoulder muscles get a good workout when you’re shoveling snow and drilling holes.
Ice fishing is a popular activity in North Dakota, and no matter where you live, you don’t have to drive far to find a place to fish. Visit https://www.ndtourism.com/articles/winter-fishing-nice-be-ice for more information.