Feel The Burn

Blast winter calories before they stick

Pumpkin pie, sugar cookies, buttery mashed potatoes and carbolicous stuffing. No wonder we tend to gain a little extra jiggle during the cold winter months. But it doesn’t have to be that way. You can burn some serious calories having fun with your friends and family skiing, snowboarding and heck, even bundling the baby up for a cruise around your own winter wonderland (also known as your neighborhood). So go ahead and enjoy that gravy (in moderation) and get moving!

Did You Know? You need to burn 3,500 calories to lose one pound? Calories burned writing this article? About 84 per hour.

Calories burned

Shoveling snow for 30 minutes – 241 calories
30 minutes of pushing a stroller – 105 calories
Packing a suitcase for 30 minutes – 105 calories
Playing board games for 1 hour – 84 calories
Reading – 126 calories – 86 calories
Sleeping for 1 hour – 73 calories
Shopping for 1 hour – 189 calories
One hour on ski machine – 766 calories

Estimated Calories Sipped at the Ski Lodge

Hot chocolate  – 250 calories
Coffee with Irish cream – 150 calories
Hot buttered rum – 300 calories
Hot toddy – 150 calories
Apple cider – 140 calories
Small eggnog latte – 350 calories
Dollop of whipped cream – 50 calories

Washington State Parks Non-Motorized Sno Parks

There are more than 120 Sno-Parks in the state. Basically they are parking lots cleared of snow and most are for snowmobilers to access areas, but some of them are non-motorized Sno-Parks for snowshoers, tubers and cross country skiers. Hyak Sno-Park at Lake Easton State Park is near Cle Elum and offers a tubing area and designated areas to play in the snow! It also has heated bathrooms. It’s one of the most popular in the area, so get there early to get a parking spot. It’s an affordable option because all you have to pay for is a parking pass for the day; $20. snowrec.org

One Hour of Cross Country Skiing: 902

Stevens Pass has several stay-and-play packages where you can get a great deal on a Leavenworth resort and lift tickets if you make a mini vacay out of it. Downhill or cross country ski — maybe both! And afterward, hit the Jacuzzi. You earned it. If you drive an electric vehicle, this is the only ski area with charging stations. stevenspass.com

The Methow Valley in the North Cascades offers some of the best cross country skiing in the country. You can literally ski for days and not repeat trails. The dry powder snow and mostly sunny days makes this area even more appealing. Sleigh rides, snow shoeing and downhill skiing are also available. Sun Mountain Lodge is a premier destination resort in the area and offers several classes. When you had enough snow time, they have a full-service spa for those sore muscles. sunmountainlodge.com

The Summit Nordic Center, Snoqualmie Pass If you are a beginner, they have packages to get you started that include rentals, group and private instruction and trail fees. They also offer classes for more advanced skiers who want to boost their skills. summitatsnoqualmie.com

Ice-Skating for One Hour: 399

There’s an ice-skating rink smack dab in the middle of downtown Tacoma for the holiday season. The Franciscan Polar Plaza will be open through Jan. 6 and is a great way to burn calories and have fun with the family. Admission is $4-$8 and skate rental is $2. tacomaartmuseum.org

Imagine snowflakes falling when you are spinning on your skates on the outdoor rink at Suncadia Resort in Cle Elum. Fun! In addition, you can snowshoe, sled, tube and cross country ski. suncadiaresort.com

Skate year ’round at Sprinker Recreation Center in Tacoma; $4.50-$6.50, plus $2.50 skate rental. co.pierce.wa.us

One Hour of Sledding/Tubing: 546

Tubing at The Summit Tubing Center, Snoqualmie — Ok. We are not sure if this calorie-burn estimate includes walking up the snowy hill and sliding back down or holding onto a rope tow to get back up. Either way, you are gonna have a blast and burn some serious calories. At the Snoqualmie Tubing Center, a two-hour session includes the rope-tow option and the tube. Cost is about $20 per person and $5 for kids 5 and under. Season passes, group rates and Tube Center rentals are available. summitatsnoqualmie.com

Snowmobiling for One Hour: 273

There are more than 3,000 miles of groomed snowmobiling trails through Washington state’s Winter Recreation Program. The program offers Sno-Parks throughout the state for snowmobilers to access the trails. For a map of snowmobile areas and more information go to parks.wa.gov/winter/boundaries. The Washington State Snowmobile Association is also a good resource for rentals, riding areas, safety tips and more. wssa.us

One Hour of Snowshoeing: 583

You can go on a guided snowshoe tour at Crystal Mountain and burn a bunch of calories while taking in the Alpine Wilderness beauty starting with a spectacular gondola ride to the summit 6,872 feet in the air. When you return you can feast on a cheese fondue dinner and tarts for dessert if you buy this package. We aren’t going to do that math — that would take all the fun out of this amazing trip. And, gosh, we love cheese. $55 per person, including snowshoe gear rental, and $35 minus the gear! crystalmountainresort.com

One Hour of Downhill Skiing: 693, Snowboarding: 486

Crystal Mountain is the biggest ski resort in the state. Located at the edge of Mount Rainier National Park, it’s less than two hours away from the South Sound and offers so much, including more than 50 named runs. You can go for the day or stay at one of the lodges at the base of the mountain. There are hills for beginners, advanced skiers and those in between. Crystal just turned 50 and during the past 10 years more than $30 million in improvements have been made, including high-speed lifts, a gondola, new dining facilities and more. This is the “it” place for downhill skiers and boarders in the area. crystalmountainresort.com

Dry snow and sun makes Mission Ridge on the eastern side of the Cascades, about 12 miles from Wenatchee, a draw for skiers and boarders. missionridge.com

Head to White Pass, about 100 miles southeast of Tacoma. Stay at White Pass Village Inn and be steps away from the slopes and trails. Snowshoeing is also available here. Paradise Basin is now open and adds 767 more acres to White Pass, doubling its size. When you are done ripping up the slopes, hit the warm swimming pool and relax (or burn more calories.) skiwhitepass.com

Top photo by Brandon Sawaya, middle photo courtesy Suncadia and bottom photo by Dave Helgeson

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