The Master Guide to Winter Workouts
Winter is one of the hardest times to work out, but that’s why it's one of the most important times.
Winter has some major eating holidays, and it's cold and easy to be extra stagnant during this season. It's also dark longer and the days are shorter, so you feel sleepier more. So first we'll go over some tips to help you stay active in winter, and then some easy ways to be active.
Tips for Staying Active in Winter
Staying active when it's cold and dark outside is difficult, and understandably so. Around 17.3 million adults in the U.S. alone suffer from depression and 10% to 20% of those cases are affected by the seasons—like winter. The cold, dark days of winter can really deter us from staying positive and active. But with a few key tips, you can make your life a little easier and help make working out in winter a little easier too.
1. Make Future Plans.
By making future plans for the spring and summer you can find your winter workout motivation! Summer plans will give you something to work toward during the winter. This can be anything from a beach vacation or signing up for a marathon.
2. Set Up an At-Home Workout Space
Having a designated space in your home to work out can really help make exercising during the winter easier. You don't even have to dedicate a whole room to your at-home gym space. Just set up some at-home weights and a yoga mat in an assigned bin near your TV so you can do a short daily workout video and have everything you need right there.
3. Invest in Indoor Equipment
Sometimes the biggest obstacle to working out in winter is getting yourself out the door to go to the gym. Solve this problem by investing in some indoor gym equipment for your own home. Then you don't have to spend additional time traveling to the gym in order to work out each day.
4. Get a Gym Membership
Another way to get yourself going to the gym is to sign up for a gym membership. Ideally, you should choose a gym that is close to home or close to your work. This way your gym will be on the way so you can easily plan a stop at the gym on your daily schedule. You can even keep a locker at your gym so you'll have all your shoes and workout clothes already there.
5. Find a Workout Buddy
Support is an important part of achieving any goal. A workout friend can help keep you accountable, motivated, and positive as you work toward your physical health goals.
Examples of Indoor Winter Workouts
Just because the outdoors are full of ice and snow, that doesn't mean you can't stay plenty active from the warmth and comfort of the indoors.
1. Sign Up for Indoor Sports.
There are plenty of indoor sports teams you can become a part of, you can even start your own team with friends! Sports don't have to be professional or competitive, they can also just be for fun, socializing, and staying in shape. You can also do other indoor sports alone like swimming at the local indoor pool or rock climbing.
2. Use Workout Videos.
Workout videos can be a fantastic way to get moving from the convenience of your living room. You can even find free workout videos on YouTube like Fitness Blender. There are plenty of expertly designed workout videos and subscriptions you can purchase as well, like Daily Burn.
3. Do Yoga Circuits.
Yoga isn’t just for stretching, it has many great health benefits as a daily workout. Yoga with Adriene are free yoga workout videos you can find on YouTube.
4. Go Dancing.
Sign up for a dance class and learn some cool skills while you work out! You can even find ways to teach yourself how to dance by watching videos or playing games like Just Dance!
5. Do Some Deep Cleaning.
Yes, you heard right. You can get your house in order while you sweat by doing some intense spring cleaning early. Make cleaning more of a workout by doing creative things like core twists while you mop the floor or lifting heavy baskets like their weights.
6. Create Your Own Workout.
Instead of using workout videos, you can create your own workout circuit with all your favorite moves. Here are a few to get you started:
High kicks and sidekicks
Use weights around the house like water bottles
Examples of Outdoor Winter Workouts
If you are going to work out outside in winter then there are a few things you need to do to stay prepared.
Do extra-long warmups
Protect your extremities
Wear sunglasses to protect your eyes from the glare of the snow
Wear the right shoes and be careful of slipping on ice
1. Go Skiing.
Skiing isn't just fun it's also a workout! It's a sport you can do in winter that will give you a full-body workout.
2. Ski Uphill.
Skiing uphill is also known as skinning or alpine touring. It involves placing a "skin" to the base of skis so you don't slide backward and can in essence ski uphill. Snow adds some extra resistance to this uphill workout making it a doozy of a workout.
3. Go Snowboarding.
Another great winter sport to do is snowboarding. It can keep you occupied for hours, you can socialize with friends, get an intense core workout in!
4. Run on Trails.
Trail running isn't only for warmer months. You can still job your favorite trails in winter, just make sure you layer up accordingly and beware of ice!
Activities like hiking can be really fun to do in winter because it's cold out and the sun isn't as intense. Winter hikes can actually be more pleasant because you won't be fighting the sun or the heat.
Sledding isn't just for children! It can be good for adults too. Not only that but you can have fun with the kids in your life all while getting an awesome workout into your day.
7. Ice Skating.
Ice skating is a great activity because you can easily do it with friends or on your own. While ice skating you work unique muscles in your legs and abdomen. You can even take an ice skating class and learn some impressive new moves to show your friends.
8. Shovel Snow.
This might seem like a chore but it doesn't have to just be a chore. You can change your perspective on shoveling snow and include it in your workout regime.
9. Play in the Snow.
There is a lot of fun to be had out in the snow. You can have a snowball fight, build a snowman, create an igloo, or pull each other around in sleds.
10. Snow Shoeing.
Snow is an additional weight resistance that you can use to your advantage. Going on a walk in the snow can burn even more calories than if you were walking without snow.
Staying active is important for an endless amount of reasons. Physical fitness isn't just important to your physical health but to your mental and emotional wellbeing as well.