Don’t Let Winter’s Bad Weather Spoil Your Exercise Time

With the record-breaking low temperatures and snow falls throughout North America and Europe during the winter of 2010-2011, few people are venturing outdoors and only do so because they must. How has this weather effected your exercise routine? Do your exercise plans get put on hold during cold and dreary months? Don’t let the bad weather blahs beat you! Tone up for spring by trying these activities that bring your workout indoors:

+ Think of your home as a gym. Consider investing in a treadmill, stationary bike, or other exercise machine.

+ Be creative. You don’t necessarily need expensive equipment to get a good aerobic workout at home. Try climbing stairs, jogging in place, or jumping rope.

+ Join an indoor volleyball, basketball, or soccer team.

+ Swim laps or do water aerobics in an indoor pool.

+ Walk briskly around an indoor mall (how the term “Mall Walker” came to be).

+ Be a “domestic athlete”. Cleaning closets, washing windows, and dusting moldings count as exercise… and helps you get started on Spring Cleaning, too!

+ Rent or buy some workout videos.

+ Experiment with different exercise classes, from tai chi to spinning, at a local fitness center.

If you’ve been inactive for a while, start gradually and add a few minutes of physical activity each day. Eventually, aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise, to increase your heart rate, five or more days per week. Experts also recommend stretching every day and lifting weights two to three times per week.


73 thoughts on “Don’t Let Winter’s Bad Weather Spoil Your Exercise Time

  1. You can always buy a workout DVD, which definitely helps you shed the pounds and tones you up. I always love to run and getting on a treadmill, although boring, can definitely help you lose the weight. The weather is never an excuse to be unhealthy although sometimes I do use it… πŸ˜‰

      • However, it only works if you use it. πŸ˜‰

        I second that it’s a great idea, and if you let it, it keeps you honest, too (tracks your workouts and gives you guilt trips if you don’t show up for a while).

  2. Great ideas – I downloaded Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred and found it really helps in the winter months when you are stuck indoors with limited equipment (admittedly I invested in hand weights and a yoga mat to help) but workout DVDs are not to be discounted!!

  3. Winter definitely affects my workouts and activity level. I despise the cold and will even forego the grocery store for days eating on leftovers and canned soup to avoid going out into the cold. I know I shouldn’t let the weather stop me. Perhaps I need to move to a place where there is no winter…

  4. Thanks for the encouragement! I’m literally sitting here at home wondering whether I should venture out and head to the gym. A much needed boost!:)

  5. I am definitely guilty of letting the snow stop me from exercise. It isn’t so much the physical inability to get to a gym, or the lack of any $1,000 equipment in my tiny little apartment that’s preventing me from working out. It’s more of a mental thing, a lack of motivation to do anything other than curl up on the couch with a blanket and a hot cup of cocoa.

    Reading this was the wake-up call I needed to regain my focus and beat the winter “blah”s. Thanks for posting and congrats on being Freshly Pressed!

  6. Pingback: Scared? Procrastination? Tell me why you don’t work out. | montclairfit

  7. Pingback: Don’t Let Winter’s Bad Weather Spoil Your Exercise Time (via Kristensherlock’s Blog) « Looking Forward

      • Some of my favorite work out DVDs are by Beachbody (Hip Hop Abs, Insanity and P90X) but I also recommend the Biggest Loser DVD series (there’s something “fun” about Jillian yelling at you) and any yoga or pilates workout. All are great for different reasons. With so many options, there’s no excuse not to add a little aerobic exercise to a daily routine. Thanks for writing!

  8. Our daughter introduced us to a Wii workout. You must hook it up to the television, then spread the plastic mat on the floor. The challenge is to keep us with the animated dancer and the fast music….and not to get discouraged when the arrows cheat you….

  9. Love this post, especially the part about becoming a “domestic athlete”. That has to be one of my favourite winter sports:) Crank up the tunes and before you know it, you’ve spent a couple of hours running around the house with an increased heart rate. There is nothing better than cleaning house while working out simultaneously!

  10. Working out at home is such a great alternative. I love the workout DVDs I use. Anyone every heard of Beachbody products? I lost 25lbs last December and January just eating better and doing Hip Hop Abs and Turbo Jam. Definitely those DVDs are awesome, but they have so many that are great. I also drink my shakeology faithfully every morning for breakfast. It helps me stay on track throughout the day.

  11. I wish I could say the bad weather has altered my workout routine for the worse…but it has not. I have been faithful but if I ever do fall off the wagon i will sure try the alternatives that you listed. This is a great piece.

  12. I prefer working out at home so I invested in the right equipment. I’ve got a great elliptical, recumbent bike, paddling erg, free weights, etc. Good weather or bad, no excuses. Well, I have excuses, they just aren’t as valid when the gym is downstairs.

  13. I review workout DVDs and other programs on YouTube and I find DVDs to be just as effective as equipment or outdoor workouts. I think the biggest part of staying fit is doing something you will stick with and its so much easier to pop in a tape than get ready and drive to the gym… My favorites are definitely Physique 57 and Mandy Ingber’s Yogalosophy!

  14. I have the Wii good work out. But this last Christmas we got the Kinecht for X-Box and let me tell you that the Zumba and the personal fitness games are amazing. I am breaking a major sweat with the Zumba dance.

  15. Great post! I especially liked the suggestion of exercising through housework. For example, I have found that scrubbing hamburger grease off of grill pans is good for toning the triceps. Thanks!

  16. Some people are talking about Wii Fit. I just got the EA Active program. Has anyone tried that? Today is going to be my first day and I hope it’s worth the money! It would be so nice to get my workout at home where it’s warm…
    “Real healthy living.”

  17. My stay-inside favorites are spinning classes or yoga podcasts.
    My heart rate is as high when I spin as when I cross-country ski. Obviously it depends on the instructor, but spin classes give you a fantastic cardio workout.
    For the days I can’t open the door for the monsoon, I do a yoga podcast in my house. Close your eyes and you could be at a yoga class – they closely simulate being in a yoga class, but without the expense or hassle of getting there.
    The blues of seasonal affective disorder make it even more important to grab any endorphins you can by exercising.

  18. Unfortunately winter stops my workout routine cold. (no pun intended) Its just sooo cold outside. The silly thing is that exercise warms you up! During the summer I do my little routine much better than in the winter. Its the strangest thing.

  19. It’s easy to lose track of fitness goals in the winter. It is worth the effort, though and you always feel better when you are done. Not to mention how much better you will look and feel come spring.

  20. It can be tough to stick with your exercise program when winter hits. The shortage of daylight, the cold weather and strong urge to stay in your nice warm bed can all work against you as you try to stay focused on your workouts.
    While winter does offer a variety of outdoor activities like skiing, snow-shoeing and cross-country skiing, not all of us have access or enjoy those types of activities. That means being stuck indoors (or shivering outdoors) and, often, doing the same old workouts.

    The key to staying motivated during the winter is to, first, make it as easy as possible to do your workouts and, second, to recognize when you’re starting to get bored with your workouts and make a change before you really lose interest. The following suggestions will give you some ideas for making winter exercise more comfortable and more interesting.

  21. I can relate to this because I love walking outdoors. Walking through my favorite park motivates me to keep exercising. But…eventually, the cold weather and/or snow comes and makes it impossible for me to get outdoors. I have a stationary bike and an eliptical machine (that needs to be unburied), but even those get boring sometimes. I dug out a bunch of old exercise videos (thank goodness I still have a working VCR player) and started using those. I’ve already lost 6 lbs.! (The same 6 lbs. I gained over the holidays.)
    I always forget about renting some new exercise videos. I might try that one to help with the problem of getting bored with exercise routines. Thanks for the reminder!

  22. I needed to join a gym and work with a personal trainer to get through this winter. Went ice skating on January 2nd and took a bad spill; twisted my knee. I saw the photo and recognized my own experience which I just now blogged about. Cardio stationary machines… a whole new concept. Thanks for great suggestions.

  23. I’ve found that switching up the types of work out that I participate in help a lot!! Body pump was getting boring and I drug my feet to get there every night. But as soon as I changed to a kick boxing class I was eager to get there and burn some calories!

  24. I like the exercise videos on-demand – they have some 10 minute workouts that feel better than nothing. Now if only my kids don’t climb on my while I do my pilates moves.

  25. I knew a gym would be a terrible fit for me, so I started doing Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. The social aspect was a huge plus for me and I found it terribly addictive. So I started a blog and haven’t looked back πŸ™‚

  26. Very nice, there are a lot of ways you could do while you are home. Being an athlete myself, the cold weather really could make you lazy! LOL Check out some of my posts about how to keep up this new year’s resolution going! πŸ™‚

  27. There are many awesome ways to get in shape at home! But if you’re short on cash, you have to be creative also! One way to do this is by looking for deals on Craigslist and Yahoo FreeCycle. I once got an entire workout weight pulley system on CL for free! Sure I’ve invested a little into it with attachments and whatnot…but it was free! Also, let’s not forget that exercise is only about 30% of any successful weight management program. The rest happens in the kitchen! So during your blah winter blues, spend time researching online how to EAT right! It’s just not enough to exercise away your weight…it happens faster with quality nutrition in smaller 6-7 a day meals plus lots of water.

    Here in Ohio where it gets fairly cold and days are short, it can be hard to stay focused but just remember the battle starts in your mind first. Beat that and you’re well on your way to a healthier lifestyle!

  28. “Domestic Athlete”

    Ha ha ha, that’s me! From now on when a friend calls on the phone and asks what I’m doing, I’ll say, “Working out”, instead of, “Doing the dishes and laundry again.” Thanks for the concept.

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