We all work hard and sometimes we party just as hard. Add in holiday treats or the “I’m-on-vacation” excuse for that extra slice of pizza or that second piece of cake and quickly the calories and pounds start to add up. There’s no better reason to remember what we all love about Breckenridge: the incredible outdoor play opportunities! These opportunities provide unique winter workouts that will have you more focused on the breathtaking view than the sweat you’re breaking. Now is the perfect time to get out and burn some calories while discovering all there is to love about winter workouts in Breckenridge. Here are some great winter workouts to amp up your fitness, while also enjoying the beauty that Breckenridge has on tap.
Where: Gold Run Nordic Center
Why: 700 Calories per Hour
Summit County has four official Nordic centers where you can try your hand at skate skiing and Gold Run lies in the middle of it all. With the entire Tenmile Range on display, you’ll be distracted enough to not notice your heart rate going through the roof.
Here Whitney demonstrates the perfect technique. And technique is something you’ll definitely need when skate skiing. Any type of Nordic skiing is a workout, no doubt about it. But skate skiing can be particularly challenging until you pick up some of the finer details, and learn the cadence of how everything fits together. Therefore, lessons are highly recommended for those new to the sport. Lucky for us all, clinics and free learning opportunities abound in fitness-crazed Summit County.
After the hard workout is done, you need to give yourself a pat on the back. Maybe it’s enjoying a special latte from Cuppa Joe, or maybe it’s finally purchasing that really cute Arc’teryx top at Mountain Outfitters that you’ve had your eye on. Whatever your motivation is, once you discover skate skiing, you’ll fall in love with the perfect harmony of a well-groomed track and awesome wax jobs.
Where: Aspen Alley
Why: 400 Calories per Hour
The latest craze taking over all mountain towns is fat biking. Think mountain bikes, but with over-sized 4″ wide tires that can be ridden on snow packed trails. Fat bikes have been around for a few years, but they’ve matured enough to become stable in price for excellent quality, and are much more readily available. Sydney and Nick, owners of Breck Bike Guides on Main Street, will not only rent you a fat bike, but can also take you on a guided tour.
Riding a squishy-tired fat bike on snow is a simple pleasure guaranteed to leave you smiling — and probably also huffing and puffing. The perfect time for riding a fat bike is when the sun has been shining, and new snow hasn’t fallen in a couple days. Go work up an appetite on the trails and then coast back down to Fatty’s for a well-deserved burger and cold beverage. You ‘ll have earned it after a ride on a fat bike.
Nick has more fun on fat bikes than most people I know. He’s not afraid to fly off-trail into the powder and he’s also not afraid to let it rip, here on the classic Aspen Alley tunnel, a true local favorite. Whether you hike or bike, this section of the trail, near the top, is a sure crowd pleaser for more adventurous (and advanced) guests.
Snowshoeing: One of the Classic Winter Workouts
Where: Breckenridge Nordic Center
Why: 600 Calories per Hour
Snowshoeing is an easy entrance sport for winter fun and great for visitors. The learning curve is low, and gear needs are fairly simple. You probably brought the clothing and boots needed on your vacation, now just rent some snowshoes at the Breckenridge Nordic Center. They’ll get you suited up and sent out on well-marked trails around Cucumber Gulch. Keep your eyes open, as moose sightings are common in the area!
With an incredible front side view of Breckenridge Resort and looking over Cucumber Gulch, snowshoeing at the Breckenridge Nordic Center is easy and great for big groups. Just follow the trails for an hour, and you’ll get an awesome workout and take in lots of fresh air and scenery. For the more adventurous, check out the hike to Mohawk Lakes and see Mother Nature in her uncrowded glory.
With the combination of up to 600 calories burned per hour, no ridiculous gear needs, and incredible sightseeing, it’s no wonder snowshoeing has become a fitness trend and one of our highest recommended winter workouts. It’s great for the whole family.
Where: Breckenridge Ski Resort
Why: 450 Calories per Hour
An experience you won’t soon forget is shouldering your skis and hiking uphill to access some hard-to-reach (and usually better quality) terrain. Hike-to terrain at Breckenridge was once the exclusive domain of ski patrol and a few hardcore locals. Now, with lifts reaching higher than ever, hiking to the summit is achievable for many skiers and snowboarders looking for a better winter workout. The Windows area at Breckenridge Ski Resort offers the simple joy of a manageable pitch, great snow, some open terrain, and some graded terrain.
Even on sunny days, overnight winds can carry in soft, carvable snow in the Windows area. On the difficulty scale, the Windows hike is easy, taking about 20 minutes to get that all-alone feeling. Make sure you stop and turn around to check out the incredible view of Baldy Mountain in the background.
If you’re truly up for creating an outstanding memory, go for a summit hike on Peak 6 or 8. Both are short and sweet, taking about 20 minutes, but the difficulty goes up with more challenging terrain, and heart rate increases. Be sure to check yourself and take it slow. You’re above treeline here and oxygen is limited. The reward is on the descent, and you’ll be pumped you made it.
There are a few fitness junkies who hike for the heart rate rush, but most of us do the hikes at Breckenridge for the pleasure of going down some uncrowded slopes, hopefully with a foot of fresh powder beneath our skis or boards. Being in the alpine zone with steeper terrain and fresh snow is one of the best feelings in the world, and one you’ll be telling your friends about for a long time.
Endless opportunities exist for getting outside and playing in Breckenridge. If you want to follow up with any of the businesses listed here, they’re all easy to find and would be excited to help you achieve your fitness goals by implementing winter workouts that fit your needs. For skate skiing and/or snowshoeing, check out Gold Run and Breckenridge Nordic Centers. Fat bike rentals, tours, and general advice can be found at Breck Bike Guides and Ridden. And of course, check out everything about Breckenridge Ski resort here. Get out there, burn some calories, be safe, and enjoy yourself! You’ll take home some great adventure stories while you’re at it.
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