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Fighting the Exercise Blues (6 Tips for Exercising in Winter)

Tuesday, December 6th, 2016 | by

We tend to bundle up and keep indoors during the coldest months, but just how will you continue your winter workout if you do that? Instead, think out of the winter box and find some ways to keep up your exercise even when the temperature drops.

 Yes, dear, it’s cold outside. But don’t let that derail your winter exercise intentions. We know you’ve been trying hard all summer and fall, so don’t let a little below freezing temperature trip you up now. Here are six tips for working in a workout—despite grey skies and snow flurries.

  1. It starts with your attitude. That’s right. Working out begins in the brain. If you think it’s too cold to head to the gym or even get out of bed on Saturday morning, you’ll never be able to stick to your exercise routine. Instead, turn winter on its heels and embrace the cold. Think of what you want to accomplish during the next three months and create a plan for whether you’ll hit the gym, exercise to DVD tapes at home or bundle up and head outdoors. Then stick to your new winter routine with a newfound attitude. After all, every three months the weather changes, right?
  2. Speaking of outside. If you’re up for it, gather your moisture-wicking layers– t-shirt, sweatshirt, light jacket, heavier jacket, hat and gloves, and head out for a brisk walk or jog, a few hours of driveway shoveling or even a snowball fight or snowman building session. A 175-pound person burns 398 calories shoveling snow.
  3. Take up a winter sport. Yes, people play sports in the winter. Crazy right? How about skiing, snowshoeing, a winter soccer league or an indoor swimming team? Join something to get you out and about working off those calories as though old man winter never came.
  4. Eat like it’s winter. Yes, summer is so showy with its sweet corn on the cob and juicy watermelon, but winter has some seasonal produce to rock your palate, too. Why not embrace kale, lettuce, oranges and grapefruits and handfuls of chestnuts for snacking? Nuts have been shown to be a critical health component in reducing coronary heart disease. Plus, eating healthy seasonal produce may just keep your motivation high to continue exercising.
  5. Think of winter workouts as training. Since most of our exercise endeavors lend to the warmer months, like that 5k, half marathon or outdoor boot camp class you’re planning in spring, think of keeping up your winter routine as good training. You won’t want to sit on the couch all winter and be out of shape again come spring, so whatever you can do to get moving and keep moving is training for those warm weather activities you love. When anyone asks you to nix a winter workout tell them you’re in training!
  6. Make it epic. Finally, a New York Times article noted that people who work out outdoors in harsh winter conditions are tough. In fact, if you run in those conditions, they’re dubbed epic runs, ones you remember long after you get home because they were so dodgy. So go ahead and toughen up. Get outside and make your workout epic.