Frigid temps and early sunsets can deter even the most dedicated exercisers. However, you can stay fit and active despite cold weather. It just takes some adaptation and planning. Follow these tips to maintain your workout routine during the winter.
Move Your Workout Indoors
No need to brave the cold if you have access to indoor fitness options. Mall walking is a simple way to get steps. Schools, community centers, churches, and gyms often have open indoor tracks. Treadmills and ellipticals provide cardio training sans windchill. Skip the traffic and bad weather by hopping on your stationary bike or rower at home.
Streaming services like Peloton offer virtual classes for cardio, strength training, yoga, HIIT, and more. Subscribe to an on-demand program or stream live workouts. All you need is an internet connection, a screen, and some space to move.
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Dust Off Those Fitness DVDs
Did you invest in workout DVDs back when they were popular? Dig those discs out of storage! Pop in a cardio kickboxing, Latin dance, body sculpting, or step aerobics DVD. This is a retrospective and cost-efficient way to vary your home fitness routine.
Mix Up Your Strength Routine
Colder months are a good time to focus on strength training. Mix up your usual workout with resistance bands, weight machines, free weights, pilates rings, or calf raises on the stairs. Work towards that fitness goal you set back on New Year’s.
Keep the Whole Family
Active Involve the kiddos for quality family time. Have relay races across the living room, play balloon volleyball, or set up obstacle courses from furniture and toys. Activities like musical chairs, freeze dance, Simon Says, and Twister make exercising fun. Adults get moving while monitoring the chaos!
Schedule Walking Meetups
Walking is a low-impact yet effective form of exercise. Schedule regular walking meetups with friends. Mall walking is a popular social option out of the cold. Or take shelter indoors at warehouse stores like Costco. Schools, churches, and community centers often open doors for public walking too.
Warm Up Properly
Cold muscles are more prone to injury. Spend at least five to ten minutes thoroughly warming up before any chilly outdoor fitness endeavors. Jumping jacks, knee lifts, squats, lunges, and arm circles increase blood flow and flexibility.
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The right cold-weather gear enables safe and comfortable workouts outdoors. Synthetic moisture-wicking base layers keep skin dry. Insulated softshell jackets and pants buffer wind and retain body heat. Top off the outfit with a water-resistant jacket or vest. Don’t forget hat, gloves, and wool socks!
Embrace Winter Sports
Skiing, snowboarding, ice skating, sledding, snowshoeing. Winter activities galore for fun fitness! Head to local slopes, skating rinks, or parks to try something new. Or stick to neighborhood hills for classic sledding sessions with the family. Cross-country skiing and snowshoe trails offer great cardio too.
Sign Up for Cold Runs
While slippery roads discourage running outdoors, weather-resistant treadmills provide a solid alternative on blustery days. Or register for a frosty 5K, 10K, or half marathon rather than braving solo winter runs. Events keep you accountable while offering camaraderie. Look for holiday-themed costumed races too!
Prep for Indoor Cycling
Stationary bikes are a mainstay for at-home fitness. And cold months are ideal for logging miles indoors rather than biking outdoors. Invest in a bike stand, smart trainers now convert regular rides into digitally controlled spin bikes. Interactive classes make virtual cycling social through platforms like Zwift.
The Great Indoors
If all else fails and it's just too cold to function, focus on stretching. This is the perfect weather for improving flexibility and mobility. Prioritize gentle, full-body stretching routines. Try restorative yoga flows or Pilates too. Amp up the cozy factor with warm beverages, candles, and blankets!
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When icy weather dampens motivation, call upon social support and accountability. Schedule regular check-ins with a personal trainer or fitness buddy. Join virtual communities through fitness trackers or social media groups. Financial commitment also boosts dedication, so prepay for classes or events. Establish rewards to reinforce goals as well!
Aim for consistency over perfection with winter workouts. Even if your cold-weather routine differs from summer training, do something active most days of the week. Consistency cements habits so it's easier to maintain fitness gains long-term. Celebrate small wins through the winter to stay motivated when it's cold. Spring will arrive before you know it!