Cold weather often means hunkering down under a blanket and waiting till spring – but it doesn’t have to be that way! Staying active in winter helps you keep fit and enjoy the season instead of just enduring it. Physical activity can also help you shake those seasonal blues. Make this winter the one where you live life to its fullest – try out these winter exercises and activities.

Walking, hiking and skiing. No matter your fitness level, you can set out on foot this winter. Easy walks through your local nature preserve, more strenuous hikes on park trails, or cross-country skiing are all great ways to get out and get moving. If you go for more than a stroll, make sure you bring appropriate supplies.

Activities with the kids. Snow day? Don’t just send the kids out to play – go with them! Channel your inner child and build a snowman, construct a fort, make snow angels and start a snowball fight. Winter exercises don’t have to be grown up!

Horseback riding. Find a local farm that offers lessons or trail rides. Horses love winter weather, and there’s something magical about a snowy landscape from atop a horse. Enjoy the scenery in this unique way and get a workout at the same time.

Outdoor chores and yard work. The joys of homeownership don’t stop when the weather gets colder. As long as you’re safely able, get out there, clean your gutters and shovel your driveway. When you’re finished, ask any elderly neighbors if they need some help, too.

Volunteer at your local animal shelter. Staying active in winter can be easier if someone else is depending on you. Make a commitment to walk shelter dogs once a week, or if you really hate the cold, clean and play with cats instead. The animals will thank you.

Join a gym or walk the mall. For those who want to curl up at the thought of the cold, there’s still plenty you can do. With a gym membership, you can work on weight training, cardio exercises or take a variety of fun classes like yoga, Pilates and aerobics. Looking for something free? Head to the mall and walk laps, window shopping as you go. Be sure to dress appropriately for walking, not shopping, though – wear comfortable shoes with supportive insoles and breathable clothing.

Swimming, rock climbing and ice skating. Want to try something different? Find an indoor pool and swim laps or take a water aerobics class. Start rock climbing classes at an indoor facility. Or locate a skating rink and try some pirouettes. The possibilities are endless.

There are so many things to do for winter exercises once you start thinking about it. Give some of these suggestions a try and you’ll find yourself up and off the couch in no time.

Tell us what we missed – what are your favorite ways to stay active in the winter?