6 Ways To Stay Fit In Cold Weather
There are many easy ways to stay active through winter's cold months.
It's time to face the facts: winter is upon us. It's cold and dreary and parts of the country are already blanketed in snow.
It can be hard to find motivation for working out this time of year. On top of that, the holidays are around the corner and there seems to be cookies, candy or chocolate-covered something everywhere you look. That's why exercise is even more important now. Staying active will give you more energy and better sleep; plus, you won't have to feel guilty about indulging in a few holiday treats!
You can still do a lot of your favorite outdoor exercises in the cold and snow. Just make sure you have the right clothing.
Most traditional warm clothing isn't waterproof and can be very bulky. With the right cold-weather active wear you can take your winter outdoor running to the next level. Nicole Cueno, endurance sports coordinator for the YWCA of Minneapolis, suggests wool under garments, winter running pants, a fleece-lined running shirt, and of course gloves, a hat and a face protector for extreme temperatures.
Don't skip the option to walk or go on your favorite hike just because it's cold out. As long as you're dressed properly and have a good pair of boots, you can still walk the same routes you would take in warmer weather.
Provided the conditions aren't too icy, you can still do some beautiful winter hiking too. Moving your body like this, even just a few minutes a day, has enormous health benefits. Walking increases your blood flow allowing you to easily burn calories and revitalizing your heart and lungs. It can also be great for stress reduction.
Even if you're not much of a sports enthusiast, winter sports can be a great way to stay in shape and get out of the house when it's tempting to stay inside all day. Hit the slopes at a nearby ski hill or sign up for a beginner's lesson if you've never tried skiing or snowboarding.
If you want an activity a little closer to home, you can head to your local skating rink for a fun way to exercise that will also help you get in the holiday spirit!
If you're looking for a good cardio workout, snowshoeing may be worth a try. Snowshoeing builds both strength and endurance and can burn more calories than running or cross-country skiing.
If you're new to the sport, make sure you don't venture too far on your first few expeditions and stay on guided trails. It's also important to take supplies with you like water, snacks and a whistle in case of emergencies. Although it might seem challenging at first, once you get the hang of it, snowshoeing is as easy as walking.
If you can't bring yourself to stay outside for more than a few minutes in the winter, there are plenty of ways to get a great workout indoors, other than your same old gym routine. Try out some group fitness classes. There are many gyms and fitness studios that offer a variety of classes including boot camps, strength training, spin classes and yoga.
Yoga in particular can be very beneficial in the winter. It helps stretch and strengthen muscles, which can relieve chronic pain and gives you time to meditate and reflect, which can reduce insomnia. It can also lower blood pressure and give you more energy throughout your day, which is particularly helpful in the bleak winter months.
If you happen to get snowed in this winter, there are many workouts you can do in the comfort of your own home. Some workouts don't even require equipment, just your body and a towel or mat on the floor. You can combine push-ups, squats, pull-ups and hip thrusts to get a complete body workout in 30 minutes or less.
If you prefer something a little more creative, try having a dance party at home -- either solo or with family and friends. You'll be surprised at how quickly your heart rate speeds up and how energized you'll feel after a few minutes of doing some crazy dance moves.