For many people it is hard enough to stay motivated enough to work out when the weather is nice but during the colder months when it is dark and gloomy, it becomes even harder. Not only will you feel less motivated, but the colder weather makes it difficult to get active and stay healthy. The good news is that in addition to some of the exercises you do at other times of the year, there are plenty of fun winter exercise ideas that are only possibilities for several months. Here are some of the best ways to have fun and stay healthy during winter, both indoors and outdoors.
Walk, Run Or Hike
All of these are standard exercises that you can do anytime of the year. Walking is the easiest option and you can truly go at any pace you want. All you need is sturdy shoes and the motivation to get started. Just remember to bundle up in lots of layers so you will stay warm while doing these exercises and if you decide to go for a hike, don’t do so when there is a lot of snow on the ground as this is potentially dangerous. Keep in mind that any activity you do in the summer will burn even more calories in the winter as you will have to fight to get through snow!
If it’s too cold (or too snowy) to walk outside, then try going to your local mall. This will give you a great chance to not only get some exercise but window shop as well.
Yoga And Pilates
These are two great types of exercise that can also be done all year round. That is because although you can do them outside, they can just as easily be done inside, either in a class at your local gym or in the privacy of your home with the help of a DVD. Both of these winter exercise ideas will help you stay flexible, build your core muscles and improve your posture. They are also very relaxing so they can help you unwind after a stressful day or if you have the “winter blues.”
Another fun activity that you can do year round is swimming. This is great for a whole body workout and you can pick the intensity level. All you have to do is find a local indoor pool and you are ready to go. If you belong to a gym or health club, you will almost always find a pool there.
If you want to find fun indoor activities to do during the winter, try a dance class. You will have so much fun that you will barely realize this is a form of winter exercise. Depending on what type of dancing you opt for it can give you a great cardio workout as well as build up your leg muscles, arm muscles and core.
A lot of people don’t think of bowling as a way to stay healthy but if you don’t pause to sit down, it can actually be a great workout. Best of all, just like dance classes it is plenty of fun so you won’t even notice you are exercising.
DVDs Or Active Video Games
If the “winter blues” make you want to stay inside all day, that doesn’t give you an excuse not to stay active. There are plenty of great winter exercise DVDs so you can find one that you like whether you are looking for cardio, dancing, aerobics or something else. The same is true of new video games; plenty of consoles such as Wii or Xbox Kinect have interactive games that keep you moving, giving you a fun way to exercise.
If you have the money to go on a vacation, try not to pick somewhere where you will simply sit on your butt all day. Instead, go somewhere that you are active and enjoy the weather. Why not try learning to kayak, snorkel or mountain bike? If you prefer cold weather, go to a ski resort. The point is to have fun while doing your winter exercise.
Now that we’ve talked about plenty of ways to stay healthy indoors, it is time to move on to outdoor activities. One of the most popular options is ice skating (and admittedly you can do it indoors or outdoors) and this is perfect for the winter. If you don’t feel confident enough to try some spins or tricks, simply skate in laps around the rink to get your fun workout.
Skiing And Snowboarding
We already mentioned taking a vacation to a ski resort, but you don’t have to go on vacation to enjoy skiing or snowboarding. Although it is expensive to buy the supplies, you can rent them at many places and you will not only have fun but burn around 500 calories each hour.
If you love to walk during the summer you should try snowshoeing during the winter. It is low impact and you can do it anywhere that there is a few inches of snow. Just remember that it is hard to get used to at first so don’t be surprised if your legs get sore.Cross Country Skiing
If the idea of skiing sounds good but you don’t want to spend too much money on equipment, cross-country skiing is a great option to stay healthy during the winter. If you are just learning, stick to flat terrain but you could always try climbing some hills if you have experience. Many areas will have cross-country skiing paths so you don’t have to resort to doing laps around a park.
Play In The Snow
Perhaps the most fun form of winter exercise and easiest way to stay healthy during the cold months is to bundle up and go play in the snow. It doesn’t matter your age or whether you are with children, building a snowman, making snow angels and catching snowflakes on your tongue will be a lot of fun. For an extra workout, why not organize a snowball fight with your friends or family? Think of it as a winter form of dodge ball which is an excellent workout.