It’s that time of year again. Halloween is now past us, Walmart’s Christmas section has been out for months, and people everywhere are reaching for their mittens. That can only mean one thing – winter is pretty much here. Odds are, that also means that It’s now the time of year where you can find plenty of reasons to avoid your workout routine. While it’s totally understandable that you’d rather curl up with warm blankets and attempt to become one of their own, you still don’t have to give up your fitness goals just because of the cold. So, how are you supposed to maintain your momentum regardless of the chill? Read on to discover 8 of our best tips for staying active this winter. It’ll make a difference – trust us!
#1 – Learn Your Layers
It seems really simple and obvious, but sometimes that’s what’s most often overlooked. Winter doesn’t have to mean giving up your outdoor exercise of choice. It just means you need to dress appropriately! To do this, make sure that you layer up smart. We’re not looking for the Michelin Man here, so don’t just pile on a few sweaters and hope for the best. Instead, choose a thin bottom layer that wicks moisture away, layer a fleece on that, and top it all off with something waterproof.
#2 – Plan Your Days
It should go without saying, but a major key to staying active in the cold is to plan everything carefully. Unless you live somewhere significantly north, you will have some days that are warmer than others. Take advantage of these and get outside when you can. Or, if your exercise of choice is something indoors (weightlifting, boxing, swimming, etc.) and you need to travel to a gym or such, keep a close eye on weather. If things are looking too icy or snowy, you can always do something around your house. If it’s good though, make it a priority to actually go do the thing. It may not be the regular schedule you’re used to, but it’s absolutely better than nothing.
#3 – Take the Long Way Around
If you’re having trouble putting winter exercise into practice or are struggling with motivation, we totally get you. We’ve all been there. Instead of trying to force yourself into something you’re not really into, simply try implementing more movement in your day to day activities. Do you usually take the elevator? If you’re able, why not try to take the stairs? Do you normally let your dog out into the backyard? Take him on a short walk when you’re able instead. Do you normally take shortcuts around the office or in the grocery store? Try taking a longer once in a while to add in some extra steps!
#4 – Embrace Winter Activities
Do you find going to the gym a real drag when it’s all snowy and cold? Well, why not ditch your traditional workout for something a little bit more seasonal? Whether you’d put your best foot forward ice skating, skiing, playing hockey, or something else entirely, there’s surely a winter activity that will keep you active, having fun, and distracted from the cold. If those don’t sound like the ticket, snowball fights, sledding, snowboarding, and snowman building are all great ways to get moving a bit.
#5 – Utilize YouTube
If you hate the cold and would rather stay inside, there’s still plenty of ways to stay active. That’s especially true in our so tech-centric lives, so why not use that to your advantage? If you want some fun new ways to get moving, utilize YouTube! There are tons of free videos on home exercise routines, yoga, Pilates, stretches, and more. It’s a great way to exercise at home while keeping things nice and fresh. After all, variety is the spice of life and nothing makes spice taste better than being free.
#6 – Dance It Out!
Part of what makes winter so magical is that it’s a season prioritizing joy and fun. As such, it’s a great time to revamp your fitness/active routine and make it something a little bit more fun. Dancing is a great way to do this. Even if you’ve got two left feet, throw on your favorite song and just feel the beat. We promise that if you dance like no one’s watching and really give yourself into the music, you’ll get both a great workout and a big smile on your face.
#7 – Bring the Gym to You
If you’re a fan of the gym but find you often miss out because of bad weather and slick roads, why not bring the gym to you? At least, a bit of it. No, we’re not expecting you to build a full home gym in your basement, but just a few dumbbells can often get the job done just as well. Bonus, you can lift weights while watching all the Netflix you want. Score. Are you usually a machine person? You can always implement tip 6 to learn some exercises you can do with dumbbells. Alternatively, there’s plenty of apps out there that can walk you through different individual exercises and full workout splits.
#8 – Find Your Fitness Passion
This list has explored a lot of different ways you can stay active this winter season. However, if you take away nothing else from this list, take this away: just find something you’re passionate about! It doesn’t matter if your activity soulmate is walking, skiing, swimming, lifting, or even shoveling the driveway. What truly matters is that you find an activity that you love, that fits your lifestyle, and that gets you moving. Exercise doesn’t (and shouldn’t!) have to be the horrible, “necessary evil” it’s presented as. There’s no point in doing something you hate when there’s going to be an option you love. Take the time to find out what that is and follow it!