You are here

5 Ways To Winterize Your Workout

January 8, 2014

Main Image

How do you plan to stay fit this winter? Whether you bundle up for outdoor runs or prefer to take a spin class, the winter weather can sometimes pose a workout challenge. When they closed my local gym this week because of snow, I turned to my backup plan—an online total body workout from celebrity trainer, Jillian Michaels and my trusty Reebok Speed Pac hand weights.

If you have a solid workout routine, you’ll find exercising, especially through the colder months, is the ultimate natural cure-all for your body and mind. It’s a foolproof way to rev up your metabolism, immune system, mood, and energy level. Get ready to get pumped!

Layer – three’s a charm. A killer wind chill or brisk day can cut a good run or outdoor basketball game short if your body’s spending extra energy to just keep you warm.  Try triple layering your outdoor workout clothes. First, slip on a wicking-layer or clothes that pull moisture away from your body so you stay dry, such as mesh material. Follow that up with an insulating, warmer layer like a fleece. Top it all off with your weather-proofed layer; think windbreaker jacket and removable scarf, hat, and gloves. Now you’re set.   

Break a warm-up sweat. Joining a friend for a vigorous hike? Stretch and ease into intense physical activity in the winter to avoid muscle strain and injury. In the cold, your body needs extra time to adjust to the environment and conditions. A good warm-up may also improve your flexibility and boost your energy by about 20 percent, because your warm muscles are more ready for intense activity. Start with a gentle, rhythmic jog or standing exercises for about five to ten minutes.

Leave tracks in the snow. From snow-shoeing to cross-country skiing, tubing, snowboarding and ice skating, winter sports are an awesome way to stay in shape. And they will keep you fit even once the snow falls. Take your walking buddy out to ski on the slopes with you for the day, or try an alternative winter sport, such as snow kayaking or curling together, if you want a real winter weather adventure. You can also get a great workout just by shoveling off the snow from your walkway and driveway.   

Stay cooped up with a class. When the temperature drops into the teens, have a back-up plan so your exercise plans don’t drop off, too.  There are plenty of free online workouts, live-streams and printable routines. Plus, there are some amazing subscription-based workouts with access to trainers to consider. Or search your personal stock for a motivating exercise DVD, fitness app, or MP3. Is exercising a social outlet for you? Try a group class at a gym for external motivation and invite a buddy, or look for a trial membership to a Pilates or yoga studio to dabble in a few classes at a fixed rate.

Be your own gym.   Use your own body weight to train indoors by doing pushups, squats, crunches, leg lifts and jump lunges. All of these exercise moves use your body weight for leverage and resistance. Body weight training is one of the most natural ways to stay fit because you’re challenging your own strength and ability, sans equipment. The best part is you can do these moves anytime and anywhere! Just adjust the speed and repetition of your planks, shadow boxing, and stair climbing to your exercise level to challenge yourself and build up your strength.

How do you modify your workout routine so you keep going strong through the winter months?