How to Exercise in the Winter

As soon as the cold weather hits, all motivation to work out and stay active is out the window. We get it – it’s hard to find the time to work out between all the cozying up on the couch, eating food, and watching movies all day long – which I think everyone can agree is the best part of the winter months. 

The good thing is, there are so many ways to keep your motivation to get up off the couch at an all-time high during the darkest days of the year! With these tips, you’ll stay active all winter long, outdoors or at the gym.

Brighten Up Your Morning

The gloomy winter mornings can take a toll on a person’s motivation to get out of bed – let alone get in a workout! Here are some ways to make getting out of bed feel less of a chore and more of an incentive:

Room Brightening Alarm Clock

Create a false sense of an early sunrise with a room-brightening alarm clock! This will wake your body more naturally than the blaring alarm you may be used to. 

Feel free to set your go-to energizing song on a timer to wake you up and get you in the mood as well!

Nighttime Prep

You’re much more likely to stick to your fitness plan if your outfit is laid out, your bag is packed, your food is made, and your gym shoes are waiting for you. Think of your fitness routine as an appointment you can’t miss! 

Prepping the night before eliminates those barriers that you would otherwise face in the morning, making it harder to get exercise. 

Find a Buddy!

Having a workout buddy incentivizes you to show up to the gym, do that extra push-up and stay more accountable to your goals. 

Waking up to that “pick you up in 10” text is sure to get you up and out of bed (and good thing you prepped the night before!) Who doesn’t like jamming out with a friend while breaking a sweat, anyway? 

Adapt to the Cold

Don’t let your love of an outdoor walk, jog, or bike ride drop when the temperature does. 

Dress for the Weather

Nothing is worse than a constant chill you just can’t shake. If you’re set on working outside in the cold, make sure your attire is warm, breathable, sweat-wicking, and wind or water-proof – depending on the day! 

Warm-Up

We can’t stress how important a warm-up is – especially when prepping to work out in colder temperatures. 

Cold muscles are more likely to get injured, so make sure you engage in a dynamic 5-10-minute warm-up before heading out the door. Incorporating moves such as low lunges with knee hugs, a lateral shuffle and dynamic toe touches can help to properly activate your muscles. 

Cross-Training

Changing weather allows you to change up your workout. Challenge yourself to new activities that incorporate different muscle groups while improving your performance in activities you’ve always wanted to try!

Swap Out

Swap those running shoes for some snow shoes or skis! Snowshoe running, hiking and cross-country skiing are great ways to keep up your endurance while enjoying the winter and improving your cardiovascular health.

Head Indoors

Head to the gym to work on the muscles you may have neglected when you were soaking up the sun and spending the summer running. 

Bring Out the Yoga Mat

Missing that summer heat? Now’s the perfect time to try hot yoga. If you’re a runner in the warmer months, yoga can offer a chance to restore muscle balance in the winter. Plus, hot yoga offers steamy relief from the cold!

Heat it Up at Home

Just because it’s cold outside, doesn’t mean a good at-home workout isn’t justifiable. 

Surf the Web

There are so many workout routines that require little to no equipment, along with thousands of videos online for any fitness level that is easy to follow, while getting your heart rate up. 

Designate a Workout Space

Having a specific room designated for working out can motivate an at-home workout when everything is in one place, ready for use! 

As nice as that heated blanket feels – exercising in the winter can be just as warm (and more beneficial) if you use these tips and tricks! Just remember – be sure to research if it’s a safe temperature to work out in. This is a great guide to review before you head outside: 

TEMPERATUREEXPOSED SKIN CAN FREEZE IN
-28°C to -39°C10 to 30 minutes
-40°C to -47°C5 to 10 minutes
-48°C to -54°C2 to five minutes

Be safe, and stay warm!

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