'Forest skating' is the coolest new winter workout

As temperatures drop, fitness junkies know that there’s only so many gym workouts one can squeeze in before cabin fever hits, and dreams of spring begin. Fortunately, a hip new cold-weather workout has arrived just in time to beat the winter blues: forest skating. Better yet, it doesn’t cost a dime more than a pair of skates, and sense of adventure.

Akin to hiking or walking trails, Country Living defines the wintertime activity as ice skating frozen paths that wind through snowy forests and woods. The sport is growing in popularity in Canada, while there’s still only a few large-scale trails in the U.S. Forest skating is not only putting traditional rinks to shame, but also a great way to get active in winter weather.

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From Fairlee, Vt.’s Lake Morey Resort to Minocqua, Wis.’s Tomahawk Lake to gliding the frozen trails at Chicago’s Skating Ribbon and Maple Grove in Minnesota, aspiring forest skaters need not book a ticket north to join in the winter fun. If you are craving a proper getaway, however, Country Living notes that the trails at Quebec's "Domaine De La Forêt Perdue," and Ontario's Arrowhead Provincial Park are two of the best.

Skeptics need not worry that ice skating won’t jump start a toned warm-weather body - Peter Zapalo, director of sports science and medicine for U.S. Figure Skating told Vogue that skating boasts more body-sculpting and strengthening potential than it’s given credit for.

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"It has cardiovascular benefits as it trains both your aerobic and anaerobic systems, and it’s a fantastic overall body challenge to your core, your balance, your coordination, and your posterior chain,” Zapalo said. “Also: Skaters have great butts.”

Walking in a winter wonderland has never looked so cool, after all.

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