The days are shorter, the temperatures are dropping, and there’s snow in the forecast. It’s finally wintertime. While that might mean adding a few more layers before you head out the door, it doesn’t have to mean spending endless hours on the treadmill. Here are five great winter workouts to get you moving when the mercury falls.
5 Winter Workouts to Keep Exercise Entertaining
Cold temperatures don’t have to mean exercising indoors. Being outside has all sorts of benefits, particularly for your mental health. With fewer hours of sunlight each day, it’s essential to soak up that Vitamin D when you can.
Of course, exercising outside during the winter is not always possible. We’ve thrown in one fun indoor activity to get your blood pumping and keep boredom at bay.
Before you head outside, stock up on leggings, joggers, and cool-weather tops to make your workout a little more comfortable!
1. Snowshoeing or Cross-Country Skiing
There’s nothing quite as magical as being outside in the snow. Snowshoeing and cross-country skiing are two dynamic winter workouts that will elevate your heart rate while calming your mind.
Snowshoeing and cross-country skiing are low-impact aerobic activities that torch calories. Depending on where you live, you can probably find groomed trails through forests, in the mountains, or even in your local parks.
Don’t have gear? If you don’t want to buy snowshoes or skis (which can be expensive), check into renting them from a local winter gear shop or borrowing them from a friend. Some locations offer lessons for beginners, too!
2. Ice Skating
Ice skating is the quintessential wintertime activity. But it’s also a great workout.
Ice skating works nearly every muscle in your body while also providing cardiovascular benefits. Skating tones your thighs and booty, engages your core to keep you balanced, and builds endurance. And because it’s low-impact (except those times when your butt hits the ice…), your joints stay protected.
There are few activities as carefree and fun as ice skating. Get your friends and family involved – it’s a great way to stay active during the wintertime months!
Winter workouts don’t have to be complicated. Lace up those hiking boots, add some inexpensive ice cleats to the bottom, and voila! You’re ready for some wintertime fun.
Many hiking trails remain open in the winter, and most are well-maintained and fairly packed down. You might not even need your ice cleats – the traction on your boots is sometimes enough – but keep them with you just in case.
Hiking can be a great cardiovascular workout, especially if you’re on a trail with significant elevation gain. Consider bringing hiking poles, which help keep you steady in the snow and ice and work your arms and core. And your mental health will thank you, too: there’s nothing quite like hiking outdoors with snow on the tree branches and the crisp mountain air in your lungs.
This one might surprise you, but cycling is actually an excellent option for wintertime workouts. Think about it: most cities work hard in the winter months to keep roadways and paved paths clear and dry. As such, those paved areas are ideal for outdoor workouts like cycling.
You don’t need to be headed to the Tour de France to enjoy riding bikes. Throw on some warm clothes and a helmet and hit the open road. It’s fun, it’s great exercise, and you just might regain some of your childlike freedom, too.
Biking is a great workout. It’s easy on your joints, gets your heart rate up just as much as running, and works your legs, butt, and core to the max. Forget squats in a stuffy gym. Getting on a bike has the same booty-full benefits!
When in doubt, dance it out. A good mantra for life, don’t you think?
Dancing can burn even more calories than running in some cases. And it’s a great way to release tension, activate multiple muscle groups, and put a smile on your face.
There are all sorts of dance classes available, from ballet to salsa to hip-hop. Check your local fitness centers, dance studios, or community centers for class times and costs. Programs like Zumba and Jazzercise are available in most cities and are usually very affordable.
You can also access many free or low-cost classes online. Turn on a video, turn up the music, and turn off those inhibitions!
Enjoy that winter wonderland – and get your body moving!