Winter Workouts: Stay Safe, Have Fun

running in a winter wonderland

Running in a winter wonderland

This time of year it seems as if the sun just plops out of the sky right as your workday is winding down. Exercising in cold weather can be a real drag. But you shouldn't let the season prevent you from exercising. Here are some tips for winter workouts that will turn frustration into fun.

Keep Your Spirits (and Your Body) Bright

Working a full-time job and trying to workout in the winter can literally leave you in the dark. Make sure you've got some reflective clothing on when you're trotting down the local roads. This is especially true when snowfall forces you off the sidewalk and into the road.
There are less pedestrians, joggers, and bikers in the winter so drivers will need a little extra reminder that you're there.  Reflective fabric is built into a lot of different gear these days, from hats to key fobs, from windbreakers to sneakers, it's easy to stay bright and protected.

Weekend Warriors

Consider moving your longer workouts to mid-day on the weekends. The sun will be at its warmest and you'll be able to enjoy the workouts more. This might mean you have to adjust your schedule a bit, but winter workouts always take a few adjustments.

Winter Workout Switchup!

Ditch the sneakers and grab the skis! (Or the snowshoes, or, heck, the sleds.) Enjoy the season and all it can offer. Ice skating on a nearby pond is a blast and will switch up what muscles you're usually flexing. Skiing can become a great group activity so bring the family with you whether it's snowboarding, downhill, or cross-country skiing.  That's what's special to me about winter workouts ... they truly are seasonal (you can't exactly ski in July in the Northern Hemisphere). So embrace it, dress in layers, and have fun!

Indoor Winter Workouts

Sure, joggers can hit the treadmill at the gym, and bikers can find a group Spin class. But you don't have to brave the snow and cold. Pop in a fitness DVD instead and stay cozy at home with a new type of fitness routine. You should be changing your fitness training every few weeks anyway, so use this as a great time to transition to new or slightly altered activities. For example, you could ditch running altogether for a winter swimming workout.  Your muscles and your waistline will thank you and you'll shock your system out of any ruts you've gotten into.
What do you change during the winter months with your workouts?  Or does it stay exactly the same year round? Let me know what you're doing.
photo credit: Rob Cook

About Lisa Johnson

Lisa Johnson here. I've been a personal trainer since 1997, a Pilates instructor since 1998 and the owner of Modern Pilates since 1999. I'm hoping to give you some good ideas to get or stay in shape with a healthy dose of humor and reality. Thanks for joining me.

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One Response to Winter Workouts: Stay Safe, Have Fun

  1. Nick December 1, 2012 at 9:53 pm #

    A nice read, I may have to take into consideration some indoor workouts, because nowadays I always find myself running in the dark, and the air is so cold it sometimes hurts to breathe! Gotta say though, there’s been no snow as of yet, but I guess that makes it extra fun to run outdoors! :)

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