With freezing temperatures, snow, and the business of the holiday season, staying active during the late fall and winter months can be a challenge for even the most physically fit and motivated.
However, colder weather is no reason to abandon your fitness journey or delay reaching your goals. Here are seven ways to stay on track with your goals during cooler weather.
Enjoy the Outdoors
Not every day of the winter will be unbearably cold. Go outside when you can, and stay in the sunshine to warm up, whether you’re on a walk, playing a sport, or just enjoying nature. This can help reduce the stress that can come during the time of year when the weather can feel particularly grey and dull.
Good shoes are a must for anyone for day-to-day use, but proper footwear is especially crucial if you’ll be walking or running through snow or ice. Look for waterproof shoes and thick socks to stay dry and warm on your next outdoor walk.
When in Doubt, Walk it Out
Walking is one of the most simplistic exercises you can do when it’s cold outside since it requires no equipment other than the few extra layers you’ll need to bundle up with before hitting the road. Throw on a knit cap and a light jacket that doesn’t restrict your movement for some extra warmth. Pay special attention to road conditions to avoid slipping on ice. Stick to paved sidewalks, and consider driving the route you intend to walk ahead of time to make sure the snow has been cleared.
Don’t Skip the Stretch
Stretching before a workout is always a good idea, but in the colder weather, the added warmth that your muscles will gain from stretching is critical. Stretching will allow your muscles to loosen and be less stiff once you head outdoors. You’ll be glad you stretched ahead of time once you begin any exercise, such as walking, ice skating, or cycling.
Invest in the Gym Membership
If it’s simply too cold to reasonably and safely exercise outdoors, the winter months are a perfect time to join a local gym. Many gyms nationwide offer the first couple of weeks or even months free to new customers and allow you to cancel at any time, making a gym an affordable and safe option for when it’s just too cold to exercise outdoors. Depending on what kind of gym you join, you can take advantage of exercise options available such as lap swimming or indoor cycling that you wouldn’t otherwise be able to do in the colder months.
Create your Own In-Home Gym
If you’re up for the challenge and have the space, you can create your own home setup that can incorporate some of your favorite workouts into your routine at home while also giving you the creative freedom to add fresh ideas to your space. Try adding a yoga mat or a dumbbell rack to give you plenty to work with as temporarily you shift your workouts to be primarily indoors.
Though you may not feel as thirsty as during the hot summer months, drinking enough water is just as critical in the winter. Hydrate before, during, and after exercise. Carry an insulated water bottle if you want to drink warm water to stay extra toasty on a chilly day.
Staying active during the winter months doesn’t need to mean strenuous workouts you’ll dread doing. Shovelling snow, running up and down the stairs, vacuuming or mopping the house, or even doing a DIY project in your home are all excellent ways to keep moving even if you don’t have a workout planned on a frigid day. Get creative and make it fun. The most important thing to remember is to keep moving!
With these simple tips you'll be able to maintain your physical fitness during a time of the year where all you may be tempted to do is stay inside.