When it gets cold outside, it’s easy to convince yourself that the best course of action is to curl up on your couch with a blanket and binge-watch an entire tv series. However, getting out and getting moving during the winter is just as important as any other time of year. There are a few more obstacles to overcome in the winter, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t still exercise. Here are a few tips for getting moving this winter.
1. Try a Winter Sport
When it comes to getting moving this winter, sports are a great solution! As opposed to a sport like baseball, which can’t be played with shaved bats in any temperature below 65 degrees, sports like skiing, snowboarding, or ice skating are specifically designed to be enjoyed when the temperatures are dipping below freezing.
However, unlike baseball, these sports require more balance and strength from participants from the beginning. Make sure that if you’re trying skiing or snowboarding that you learn from an instructor and start small on bunny hills. The black diamonds can wait until you have a little bit more experience.
In the winter, there are often outdoor ice rinks set up for you to enjoy. If you haven’t been on the ice before, make sure to take it slow. The more experienced you are on the ice, the more you’ll get a good workout from being on the ice. If you’re more experienced, you can even try playing hockey or figure skating move or two.
2. Sign Up For a Program
Nothing holds you accountable like putting a little bit of money down. Signing up for a challenge, workout program, or something similar is a great start to getting moving this winter! It can really help keep you going when you want to quit.
If you’re motivated by a challenge or beating your own personal bests, this can really help motivate you to not quit. When you have to log all of your results, it can make you want to actually do your workouts consistently since there are other people who will also know if you don’t work out. Better yet — you’ll know if other people are working out when you aren’t.
There are usually challenges for a number of different exercise forms in the winter, so make sure that you search for challenges or programs that fit with what you’re interested in. Many of these groups are virtual, so if there isn’t a gym near you that offers a challenge for your chosen form of exercise, you can probably find another one out there.
Sometimes there will be training groups or programs, depending on what you want to do. For example, if you’re interested in starting to run, there are many programs that you can join that are “couch to 5k” ones designed to get you from no running to be able to run a 5k (or 3.1 miles) in a few months.
3. Have an Accountability Partner
If organized group activities aren’t your thing, you can still have a friend that holds you accountable for getting moving this winter. Whether you’re doing your workouts together or just telling each other when you’re heading to do one, having someone else who cares about your workouts can be very motivating.
You can even make your own DIY program and follow that together, or you can be doing completely different routines. You could also make plans to meet up at your gym to work out at the same time a few days a week, even if you’re not doing the same sets or classes.
4. Try an At-Home Workout
If accountability and consistency aren’t your issues, and you struggle more with adjusting from your normal outdoor workouts to indoor ones, you can find lots of at-home workouts on YouTube to help you start getting moving this winter.
This can also be helpful if you’re getting tired of your usual workout routine since there are free classes available for all experience levels in a multitude of classes, such as barre or HIIT.
You can also try out a range of different workout types if you aren’t sure what you’ll enjoy. Make sure to try out at least two classes in a certain type before deciding that you aren’t a fan of it — sometimes, it takes a little while to adjust to a new form of exercise and get the hang of it.
5. Give Yourself Time to Adjust
For some people, adjusting from hot weather to cold weather takes longer to transition than the fall season allows. If you’re used to blistering summer heat and outdoor activities, there will inevitably be some time to adjust from playing basketball to doing other types of outdoor or indoor workouts.
If you were the most in-shape that you’ve been in years during the summer, it’s possible that you might lose some of that fitness in the winter, but that doesn’t mean that you won’t be able to regain that fitness once you’ve adjusted to the weather change and focus on getting moving this winter.
If in the summer, you love to do competitive fishing, like the 11.6 million youth participants in the U.S. in 2017, there may be more hurdles to adjusting to the winter than other sports. However, that doesn’t mean that you won’t be able to adjust!
If you live in an area where you can do ice fishing, you’ll have to wait for it to get cold enough for the ice to be thick enough for ice fishing. In between these sports seasons, you can still get moving this winter by taking walks or doing upper-body workouts.
6. Consult With Your Doctor
If you’re one of the people under 65 who qualify for Medicare because of long-term disability, there may be more restrictions on the ways that you can exercise. Make sure that you check with your doctor before you try out any and all new forms of exercise or movement. There may be something that you can still do to get moving and stay active year-round.
The winter presents unique challenges when it comes to working out, but that doesn’t mean that you aren’t able to keep up or even increase your fitness level in the winter.
What’s your favorite way of getting moving this winter? Let us know in the comments!