Winter can be a challenging season to stay active. It's cold out and there are fewer daylight hours, which alone, make wanting to do anything called exercise a chore.
Good thing staying physically active is not that hard, and can even be a lot of fun in winter.
I personally prefer playing sports to going to the gym, but I do whatever is the best option depending on where I'm located and what's available to me, my mood, and what I have going on in my life at the time.
You want to try new things and approach staying active, not as a chore but as a choice. And it helps to give yourself options and flexibility when the weather or your life changes.
Here are some options.
1. Ice skating
Ice skating is a great low-impact activity that can improve your balance, coordination, and endurance. Make sure to wear warm clothes and protective gear, such as a helmet, gloves, and pads.
2. Cross-country ski or snowshoe
These winter sports are excellent for working your whole body, especially your legs, arms, and core. You can cross-country ski or snowshoe on groomed trails, open fields, or wooded areas. You will need to rent or buy the equipment and learn the basic techniques before you start but this could become one of your favorite winter stay-active options.
3. Online Yoga
Get in on a live yoga class on Zoom, Facebook, Instagram or YouTube. And while you're online, check out pilates, and dancing too. These are great ways to stay in shape during the winter in a low stress way.
Bowling is another fun activity that you can use as an opportunity to get together with friends or family. You can also join a league, if you like.
5. Roller skating
Roller skating is a retro and enjoyable activity that can boost your mood, cardiovascular fitness, and muscle strength. You can roller skate at an indoor rink, a gym, or a basement. You can also try different styles of roller skating, such as jam, speed, or artistic.
6. Martial arts
If you ever wanted to try martial arts or take some self-defense courses, winter is a great time to do it.
7. Winter hikes
Put on some warm clothes and hit the trails. You’ll get some fresh air and exercise while enjoying the beautiful winter scenery.
8. Walk Indoors
Walk at an indoor location, like a mall, or go to a gym. To be honest, getting back in the gym is the only surefire way I will stay active during the winter so I make peace with the slighter higher membership fee I pay to reserve the right to quit anytime instead of being locked into an annual contract.
If you need extra motivation to get walking, join a walking group. Or start your own with family and friends.
9. Have a snowball fight
It’s a fun way to get your heart rate up and work on your reflexes. Just make sure you’re not throwing snowballs at anyone who doesn’t want to participate.
10. Wear layers
Not exactly a workout, but it will help if you're going out in the cold. Wear several layers of comfortable clothing so that items can be removed easily as you become warmer.
Skip cotton because once cotton gets wet with sweat or snow, the moisture is trapped and will actually make you feel colder.
For your first layer, you want something that pulls moisture away from your skin, such as the moisture wicking fabrics used in high-performance sportswear. Next, add a layer of fleece. Finally, top with a thin waterproof layer.
Exercising in cooler weather has some distinct advantages over working out in warmer weather. You may be able to work out longer, burn more calories, and feel more energized. Plus, because you have to shift gears and try something new, that newness alone can feul your motivation.
Try to stay active, healthy, and positve this winter, please.