Utah skiing is phenomenal, but if you’re like me, sometimes a day of skiing doesn’t fully satiate your cardio crave. Can you relate? Add fitness and adventure to your ski vacation with this list of winter sports. Each guarantees to boost your heart rate and most can be added to a day of skiing. You’re welcome.
Take your cardio fitness to a new level by running Utah’s high and spectacularly beautiful winter trails. Mom might tell you that running on snow and ice is a bad idea, but strap on a pair of Kahtoola MICRO or NANO Spikes, and you’ll enjoy solid footing where you never thought possible. The first time I wore them I ran like a timid cat, but now I push myself to run all winter. Added bonus: If you live at a low elevation, Utah’s high trails will seriously bump up your heart rate. Look for well-trafficked trails such as the Bonneville Shoreline, Pipeline, or Round Valley, or call Salt Lake Running Company (2454 S. 700 East, 801-484-9144) for route suggestions.
Looking for more fun after the lifts stop spinning? Head to a climbing gym. Most are open until 11 p.m. except on Sunday, plus they’re a great place to burn off energy and get a killer workout. You can even take the kids, which will help their heads crash on the night's pillow that much harder. Routes are set for every skill level plus shoe rentals and gear are available. Wear clothes that let you stretch and pack water and snacks. I frequently burn my legs all day on the slopes then continue the fun at Momentum Climbing & Fitness, (801) 906-2132, momentumclimbing.com. If you intend to climb several times with a crew of friends, buy a 10-pack of passes at a discount.
Experience the peaceful beauty of winter by snowshoe. Silently trek through soft snow, but don’t be fooled, snowshoeing is a serious workout, especially in untracked powder. Snowshoe rentals are affordable enough for you to keep them on hand throughout your visit. Several resorts offer dedicated trails and Sundance Mountain Resort even offers a full-moon snowshoe trek! If you want to explore beyond the ski area, play it safe and check avalanche conditions with the Utah Avalanche Center, 888-999-4019, utahavalanchecenter.org.
Utah’s Olympic Oval is dubbed the “Fastest Ice on Earth”—a result of delivering more than 100 speed skating records—and its super speedy 400-meter track is open to the public. Skating the Oval is a rare opportunity to experience skating from the perspective of an Olympic athlete plus get in a solid workout. It’s surprisingly inexpensive ($5 adults, $3.50 seniors and kids) and skates are available to rent. The track is still used for training athletes, so check their “open skate” hours prior to making plans, (801) 968-6825, utaholympiclegacy.org/oval.
While most people associate Utah with world-class alpine skiing, the Nordic scene is outstanding as well. From Lycra-clad racing to silent cross-country tours, and even ski-in yurt camping, it’s an active way to infuse variety and exercise into your vacation. Several resorts have Nordic trail systems, including Alta, Solitude Nordic Center and Sundance Nordic Center. The Utah Nordic Alliance (utahnordic.com) also provides comprehensive route information. Whichever you choose, you’re in for a cardio-boosting, bottom-toning adventure!
If you think yoga can’t be adventurous, you’re missing out. Park City Yoga Adventures combines yoga with adventure sports, just right for athletes who want to add strength and flexibility to their routine. Their hallmark offering is year-round paddleboard yoga in a geothermal hot spring hidden is a 55-foot deep crater. Tiny effervescent CO2 bubbles turn the hot spring into a tingly, relaxing, soak. Although relaxing, paddleboard yoga is still a workout, toning muscles and improving balance.
If you prefer to play outdoors, snowshoeing is a beautiful and peaceful workout, especially when paired with a yoga session. The Snowshoe and Yoga outing begins with a 2-hour trek up a mountain where you’ll tread through untracked snow, glissade down hills, and observe Utah’s abundant wildlife. On top of the mountain warm up with a well-earned mug of cocoa before heading indoors for a relaxing 1-hour yoga session. Ahhhh!
Planning a summer visit? Check out their Aerial Yoga, Climbing and Yoga, or Hike and Yoga classes. For more information visit ParkCityYogaAdventures.com.
Use these ideas to get the most of your ski vacation, but reserve at least one evening to enjoy après ski by the fire. And if you ski daily, plus try every activity on this list, you might want to book a massage as well, you'll need it.
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