During the frigid winter months, it can be difficult to stick to your fitness routine. After all, if you’re an outdoor runner, park yogi or gym rat, it suddenly seems far less appealing to get out into the cold and into your routine when snowflakes are falling. Wouldn’t you much rather just stay in your nice, cozy bed?
Well, why not make a compromise? Rather than ditching your fitness routine completely once winter hits, and hibernating until spring, try a few of these great ways to stay fit indoors, from the comfort of your own home — no chilly commute to the gym required.
1. Take your favorite classes online.
If you frequently go to a gym or studio for yoga, pilates, spin or other classes, consider looking for virtual options for all of the above. Many studios are starting to offer the exact same classes you take in-person, just in an at-home format (and you may even get a discount by switching to the virtual offerings!).
If you don’t want to do a structured class set-up with a local studio, there are also plenty of apps that offer fitness classes that you can complete on your own time, with pre-recorded videos.
2. Try a new form of aerobics.
If running is your preferred way to work out, try a new form of aerobics over the winter months. Climb the basement stairs for an hour (yes, it’s boring, but if you pop in your earbuds and listen to your favorite podcast, the hour will fly by). Jump rope. Try some HIIT exercises.
3. Hang out with the kids.
No, really! If your children are already having active fun, join them for a workout that benefits the entire family. Maybe you invite them to a competitive dance off via their favorite new video game. For older kids, try out a kid-friendly exercise video (you can find plenty on YouTube!). For younger kids, play an indoor-friendly game that works on their balance and fitness, like Simon Says or Hopscotch.
4. Pick up some weights.
If you’re trying to keep your at-home gym costs to a minimum, consider strength training. With only a few weights, you can work out a whole range of muscles. And, if you’re normally an aerobics person, you might find the change of pace enjoyable.
5. Splurge a little.
On the flip side, if you’re okay with splurging a bit on staying fit at home during the winter, you may want to consider one of the pricier — but oh-so-worth-it — home gym investments.
The Peloton Bike is a clear winner that’s growing in popularity, for good reason. If you like cycling, or just aerobics in general, you’ll enjoy this high-tech option that’ll push you to your limits.
An up-and-coming home workout option is Mirror, a literal mirror that’s also a smart device, giving you access to recorded and live workouts as you watch your movements in the mirror and monitor your form and activity levels in real time.
6. Try a completely new option.
If you’re finding yourself in a complete workout rut, because you just can’t enjoy your normal workouts in the current weather, you may need to get creative about finding a new option.
Go beyond your normal aerobics, strength training and yoga to less familiar types of exercise, like jumping on a home trampoline or giving rowing a try (though the trampoline is definitely going to be the more affordable option).
Whatever type of workout you’ve been curious about in the past, now is the time to try it.
7. Don’t let your other fitness goals slide.
Remember — fitness isn’t only about exercise and even if you do let your exercise routine slide a bit over the winter, pay attention to the other aspects of staying fit as well. Try to drink the right amount of water (especially over the winter, when the air is extra dry), take your vitamins to keep your immune system up and opt for a healthful diet.
Doing so will go far to keep you healthy even if you’re not working out as much as you might in the spring and summer.
And if you do brave the great outdoors…
And if you do decide that you’ll have to brave the great outdoors in order to get in a workout, make sure to bundle up and check the forecast before you head out. No one wants to be caught in an ice storm or random snow shower while they’re sweating. Additionally, know the signs and symptoms of frostbite and hypothermia, just in case.