Trying to stay fit during the winter can be a challenge. Certain outdoor activities may be significantly less appealing, and may even become unsafe as the temperature falls, roads get icy, or snow covers your city.
Luckily, there are other ways to keep up with an exercise routine during the colder months. While it may involve activities that you wouldn’t normally try, it can be a fun break from your typical exercise plan. Plus, a little variety can be incredibly beneficial, allowing you to use your muscles in new ways and engage your brain with an exciting new regiment.
If you want to make sure you stay on top of your exercise during colder months, here are some of the best tips for keeping fit this winter.
Give Yoga a Try
Yoga can be an incredible workout. When done slowly, it can be highly meditative and relaxing. Plus, maintaining poses requires a significant amount of strength, putting your muscles to the test, and you get to stretch along the way too.
However, an intense yoga session can also stand in for moderate-intensity cardio. By flowing through the poses at a decent pace, you can get your heart rate up too.
Another benefit of yoga is that it doesn’t take much space to do. Usually, a six-foot by four-foot space is more than plenty, and you may be able to get away with less depending on your size.
If the pace of yoga is appealing, but not the activity itself, then you might want to consider Tai Chi instead. It has its roots in martial arts but focuses on slower movements coupled with deep breathing techniques. Not only is it very low impact and slightly meditative, but it can also improve cardiovascular health.
Explore Running Alternatives
If you can’t imagine getting through your day without making time for a run, bad winter weather can be a damper on your day. On a good note, there are running alternatives that can give you a proper burn without having to venture outside, even if you only have a small space for your workout.
Jumping jacks, stair climbing, mountain climbers, high knees, and jumping rope can all be great options on days you can’t head out on a run. If you want to get in a full-body workout, burpees can really put you to the test, all without any equipment.
Play in the Snow
Running around in the snow with your children or pets is usually a pretty intense workout. Snow increases the difficulty of just walking around, and a snowball fight can be incredibly vigorous.
Building a snowman or snow fort is also surprisingly physical. Making a few snow angels can also get your blood pumping. Consider any childhood snow-related activity and invite your kids to do it with you. Not only will it serve as a workout but it’s also a great bonding experience, making it physically challenging fun for the whole family.
Classic calisthenics (body weight exercises) are still staples for a reason. Plus, you don’t need much room to do them, with many taking less than a six-foot by three-foot space to do effectively.
Push-ups, crunches, planks, squats, leg lifts, calf raises, and lunges are all excellent choices. If you have access to a stable chair, a few chair dips are also great additions.
Sign Up for Classes
If working out at home isn’t your cup of tea, then signing up for a class or two might give you the motivation you need to keep fit this winter. You can either look for alternatives to your favorite outdoor activities – like a spin class for bicycling enthusiasts – or try something new to shake things up a bit.
Anything from Zumba to indoor fitness boot camps can do the trick, so put them all on the table and see what catches your eye. You may incidentally discover that you love dance, boxing, or nearly anything else along the way, giving you a new activity that you can do all winter, and potentially beyond.
Try a Gym
A well-appointed gym can be a lifesaver during the winter. Along with basic equipment, like treadmills and weight machines, some also have other features, including indoor heated pools, racquetball courts, indoor rock climbing, basketball courts, and more.
By signing up with a gym, you have access to all of the equipment you may need. Plus, the financial component may help keep you motivated, as practically no one likes to feel as if they are wasting money on a membership they aren’t using.
Give Ice Skating a Whirl
Ice skating is a classic winter activity, and it isn’t just for children. Putting on some skates and heading onto the ice can be a great workout, letting you tone your lower body and core. Plus, if you maintain a moderate pace, you can burn hundreds of calories an hour and improve your cardiovascular fitness.
While winter is certainly the time for ice skating outdoors, many larger cities also have indoor rinks, allowing you to enjoy the activity without experiencing the worst of the cold.