Blog post: 5 wondrous winter-workout ideas
With all of the feasting, parties, and other social obligations of the winter season, there seems to be little time left for keeping fit – even for those of us who’ve resolved to exercise or lose weight in the New Year. The colder weather doesn’t help matters much, as the chilliness has us burrowed beneath so many blankets we may not come out until March! Alas … a long-n-lazy hibernation isn’t in our cards – it’s in all of our best interests to stay active, even in the coldest of conditions.
Get your hiney out of holiday-mode (and keep those New Year’s fitness resolutions alive) with these five fit-n-festive winter-workout ideas that’ll make the remainder of your winter extra merry and bright!
1. Cold-proof cardio
Can’t make it to the gym? You have plenty of equipment-free exercise options for creating your own awesome at-home workout:
- Jumping jacks
- Power squats
- Mountain climbers
- Donkey kickbacks
- …and a push-up in a pear tree! (optional)
Mix-n-match the different exercises in short bursts to ward off winter-workout boredom. For example, do 30 seconds of jumping jacks, followed by 30 seconds of donkey kickbacks, followed by… well, you get the idea.
2. Construct a mini at-home gym
If you’ve just gotta get your hands on some equipment, these won’t take up much space:
- Resistance bands
- Exercise ball
- Jump rope
- Kettlebells/medicine balls
- Yoga mat
- Foam roller
You can also run “laps” up and down the stairs to get your heart rate racing (just watch out for any new toys the tots may have left on the landing).
3. Go dashing through the snow
Running remains one of the best workouts you can do at any time of the year. Thwart the winter chill with a quick stretch and warm-up walk (or jumping jacks / power squats) before you head outside to kick up those heels.
Still struggling? Add more fun to your run with a few seasonal activities:
- Run through the snow for extra resistance/calorie-burn
- Count how many houses still have holiday decorations up in your neighborhood
- Create a post-holiday playlist and practice your caroling for next year
- Take a new route and make note of any interesting landmarks
- Trod a familiar trail and observe how the winter weather has transformed it
Most importantly, don’t forget to dress appropriately for cold-weather running! Bundle up with pants, long-sleeved shirts, gloves or mittens, a hat/headband/earmuffs, and proper footwear to avoid any icy accidents.
4. Reconnect with a classic pastime
- Practice ice-skating. Lace up those skates and prepare for a full aerobic workout! Other benefits include better balance, flexibility, and joint strength. Nice.
- Go sledding. Work your core as you lean side-to-side to avoid obstacles.
- Have a snowball fight. Build those biceps and triceps as you sling slush at your friends and family members (just make sure they know they’re in the game to avoid any late-season “bah, humbugs!”).
- Shovel snow. Oh, sure. If you WANT to be productive and get a workout in at the same time. Offer to help a neighbor with theirs, too!
- No snow? No problem! Play tag, throw a Frisbee, or go for a bike ride – there are plenty of fair-weather activities to enjoy from the days-of-yore.
5. Go… shopping?!
What better way to end a stressful holiday season than going back to where much of that stress began! (Not.) But if you’re gonna spend time at the mall, you may as well make the most of it. Here’s how to put a healthy spin on your next shopping spree:
- Park at the back of the lot and enjoy some extra fresh air on your walk to the front door.
- Take the stairs when possible.
- Walk up escalators (avoid the crowded elevator).
- Routinely drop off your purchases at your car (before entering another store) to avoid becoming over-encumbered (and to get some extra steps in).
- Before any impulse purchases, do 10 bodyweight squats to give yourself extra time to think it over.
Winter’s not going anywhere anytime soon. Don’t just sit around and “wait out” the next couple of months – you’ll only set yourself back from meeting your fitness goals. Get out there and winter work-it!
If you enjoyed this list, please share it with your friends and family (‘tis the season, after all)! Better yet, round up your relatives and have them join you in your winter-exercise ice-scapades. (Sorry, we couldn’t resist one more pun).
Flippant Writer Extraordinaire