Winter Exercise Tips

Armed with these winter exercise tips, you can get your ready-for-summer body of evidence started right now. No matter what your age or current fitness level, you can make significant improvements in your health and fitness during the winter months.

Does This Happen to You Every Year?

The weather is cold. You’re enjoying your time in bulky sweaters, over-sized sweatshirts, and cozy flannel pajamas. You've had your fill of turkey and Christmas delights. It's easy to ignore what you don't see. Then, the warm days finally arrive, and it feels great!

It’s time to pull off the layers. That’s when you begin to see summer-ready bodies parading around. You may be one of those who looks down to see a few extra pounds springing up like little tulips in the garden -- not exactly the curves you are after.

Nordic WalkingCalorie burn in colder temperatures is almost double that at room temperature

Maybe you aren't worried about a little addition of weight; but, your legs aren't as strong as you would like for your summer sports and activities.

If that’s when you usually start to work on your summer body, it's time to tell yourself that it won’t happen this year. It's always a choice! You can refuse to settle into your sweats and sweaters until the last minute because your summer body can start right now.

If you’re looking out the window at a pile of snow or hearing predictions of freezing temperatures, you may be thinking that I don't understand what that's like, or that I just don’t get it.

But I do. I get it. I know that winter weather can feel like a barrier to exercise, but I have some winter exercise tips that will help you make spectacular progress regardless of the weather. So, let’s get started.

Do the Obvious

When the cold weather hits, it only makes sense that you use it to your advantage. Skiing may come to mind, but that’s not your only option. If you were a skateboarder in your younger years or you always wanted to be, snowboarding may become your new hobby. Perhaps you might enjoy cross country skiing, snowshoeing, ice hockey, or ice skating with your family.

Don't let the cold freeze your sense of adventure. Learning new activities not only benefits your body, it's great for your brain and emotional well-being.

Did you know that cold temperatures activate Brown Adipose Tissue (BAT)? BAT burns fat because it metabolically more active than white fat. 

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Top Winter Exercise Tips:

Here are some winter exercise tips to stay warm and safe if you go this route.

  • Invest in loose layers. Winter clothing isn’t as bulky as it once was, and there are so many options that you can express your unique style whether it’s raining, snowing, sleeting, or simply freezing. Wear wicking fabrics next to your skin, and down or fleece as a second layer. 
  • Traction accessories for your shoes, such as Yaktrax, will limit your falls whether you’re in the woods, on the ski trail, or maneuvering frozen streets near home. 
  • Be sure to check the weather forecast before heading out.
  • Don't forget to wear sunscreen. Snow reflects the sun like water, and you can still sunburn on cloudy days.
  • Take breaks to enjoy the healthy, body-warming benefits of a cup of hot chocolate or chai tea.
  • Stay hydrated. When exercising in cold air, you lose vapor when you breathe.
  • Avoid alcohol because it draws heat away from your core.
  • Focus on getting out of the house and having fun. Try new things. You don’t have to think of it purely as exercise. 

Prefer to Stay Warm & Cozy?

If braving the winter weather just isn’t your thing, or you have legitimate barriers that make that difficult or dangerous, there are many ways to get your summer body in top form while staying indoors. Some of the best winter exercise tips can't rule out making use of time indoors! 

Here are some indoor winter exercise tips that may help:

  • Invest in a tracking device like FitBit or Garmin. There are millions of people marching in place in front of the television, dancing in their bedrooms, and lapping the hallways at work to beat their step goals. You can even join active FitBit groups on Facebook to connect with stepping friends from around the world. 
  • There are free exercise videos on YouTube. 
  • Make some room for a Bowflex HVT fitness machine, or bring home a portable TRX training system, if you want something that is easy to move from room to room. 
  • Join a gym.
  • For little or no financial investment, you can make use of an exercise ball, dumbbells, resistance bands, weighted jump ropes, and basic body weight movements like push-ups, squats, and walking lunges. 

Whether you decide to take advantage of the winter weather or keep warm in your home, focus on accelerating your daily activity level this winter. Set a timer so that you get up and move around the house 10 minutes out of every hour that you spend sitting. Take the stairs rather than the elevator. Join the local YMCA as a great way to meet other health-minded individuals. Water aerobics, Zumba, spin, and other indoor exercise classes are the perfect way to get your ready-for-summer body started today.   

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