Winter weather may not be ideal for staying on top of your exercise routine but it’s no excuse for getting lazy. Between the limited daylight hours, chilly temperatures and occasional wet conditions, getting your daily dose of exercise may become a hassle but it’s well worth the extra effort to ward off the winter blues and holiday pounds.
While you may have to alter your summer workout, you can still get a solid amount of exercise during the winter. Follow these guidelines to avoid seasonal weight gain and stay in shape all throughout the year.
Move It Indoors
During the summer, it’s easy to get outside and go for a run. The same routine in the winter, however, can be daunting. Few people find the idea of running in the rain, snow, wind and chilly temperatures appealing, not to mention the fact that those conditions are a recipe for catching a cold. Move your running inside during the winter and use a treadmill. The scenery may not be as great but it will serve as a suitable substitution until the warm weather arrives.
Welcome Winter Weather
Instead of fighting against the winter weather, embrace it! Use the snow and ice to your advantage and give ice skating, skiing and hockey a try. Not into sports? Act like a kid again and go sledding, build a snowman or participate in a friendly snowball fight. Anything that gets you moving is good for your health. Just remember to dress appropriately for the conditions.
Sign Up for a Class
Winter is the perfect time to try a new class, like yoga, zumba or spin. These indoor classes will keep you warm and get your blood pumping. Maybe you’ll even fall in love with a new activity that you’ll keep pursuing after the weather improves.
Look for Indoor Alternatives
Do you love playing tennis or swim regularly during the summer? Move your activities to indoor facilities and keep the action going all winter long. Lots of cities have access to indoor courts and pools to keep you on top of your game throughout the year.
Work Out at Home
The dark nights of winter are practically meant for hibernating. Just because you’d rather be at home, where it’s warm and dry, it doesn’t mean that you have to huddle under a blanket on the couch. Find a workout video that you love and devote time each day to work up a sweat in the comfort of your own home.
Hit the Gym
The gym is a great exercise alternative to bad weather. There are so many fitness machines that you can try something different every day of the week so you’ll never be bored. Plus, it’s much safer to work out indoors with your peers during the winter than be outside alone in the dark and cold night. To increase your odds of actually going to the gym, pack your work out gear and go straight after work. It’s much harder to get yourself to leave the house once you arrive home after work.
Exercise At Work
Since the amount of daylight hours are limited in the winter, your best chance to exercise may be on your lunch break. Bring your walking shoes and head outside for a midday stroll. You can also skip the elevator and use the stairs to get some extra steps. While using the stairs is always a better option than the elevator, it’s perhaps even more so in the winter when you’re even less active than usual. Every step counts when it comes to maintaining your fitness.
If you’re willing to brave the elements, make sure that you’re prepared. Get waterproof clothing for exercising in the rain, cold weather gear for venturing into the snow, and reflective outer layers for being out after dark. If you’re unsure of the weather forecast, dress in comfortable layers. Better safe than sorry if the temperature suddenly dips or the rain starts to pour.
Spring Is Coming
Remember, winter doesn’t last forever and there is light at the end of the tunnel. Give some of these ideas a try to get your through the off-season and you’ll find yourself back to your normal workout routine soon.