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3. Make Snow Your Ally continued...

"The best calorie-burners are those that bring the heart rate up to a cardiovascular training zone," says Julia C. Jackson, owner of Friends in Fitness Corporate Wellness and Personal Training in California. For most healthy people, the American Heart Association recommends an exercise target heart rate ranging from 50% to 75% of your maximum heart rate, which is normally calculated as the number 220 minus your age.

Jackson advocates snowshoeing as a great way to get into that range.

"Snowshoeing is fantastic," Jackson says, "because absolutely anyone who can walk can snowshoe." The big bonus: you'll blaze through some 563 calories an hour doing it.

And don't forget cross-country skiing, which Jackson says offers "a complete body workout," building balance and coordination while burning about 650 calories an hour.

Prefer other winter sports? Downhill skiing flies through 352 calories an hour, while ice-skating glides through 493 calories an hour.

4. Get on the Ball

When it's too cold to be outside, get bouncy inside -- and strengthen your core muscles -- with exercise balls, recommends Fabio Comana, an exercise physiologist with the American Council on Exercise in San Diego.

Exercise balls, also known as fitness balls and balance balls, are large vinyl balls in various diameters ranging from 18 inches to 3 feet.

Your workout with an exercise ball can be as easy -- and fun -- as sitting on the ball and bouncing lightly to gently work your core muscles (the muscles surrounding your trunk and pelvis). A ball workout can also be pulse-pounding, if you use your ball as a prop for crunches, pushups, leg lifts, or squats.

Too pooped to prop? You can even burn a few calories simply sitting on the ball and working to maintain your balance.

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