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The Master Guide to Winter Workouts

winter workouts

Staying active in winter may seem impossible, but with some key tips and tricks you can get back on track and enjoy your healthiest and happiest winter yet.

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Winter is one of the hardest times to work out. Winter has some major eating holidays, it’s cold outside, it’s dark outside, the days are shorter, and you feel sleepy and full of food all the time! But all of this is why it is so important to stay active in winter and avoid being too stagnant during this season.

Tips for Staying Active in Winter

exercise tips

Staying active when it’s cold and dark outside is difficult, and understandably so. Around 17.3 million adults in the U.S. alone suffer from depression and 10% to 20% of those cases are affected by the seasons—like winter. The cold, dark days of winter can really deter us from staying positive and active. But with a few key tips, you can make your life a little easier and help make working out in winter a little easier too.

1. Make Future Plans

By making future plans for the spring and summer you can find your winter workout motivation! Summer plans will give you something to work toward during the winter. This can be anything from a beach vacation to signing up for a marathon.

2. Set Up an At-Home Workout Space

Having a designated space in your home to work out can really help make exercising during the winter easier. You don’t even have to dedicate a whole room to your at-home gym space. Just set up some at-home weights and a yoga mat in an assigned bin near your TV so you can do a short daily workout video and have everything you need right there.

3. Invest in Indoor Equipment

Sometimes the biggest obstacle to working out in winter is getting yourself out the door to go to the gym. Solve this problem by investing in some indoor gym equipment for your own home. Then you don’t have to spend additional time traveling to the gym in order to work out each day. You can even take out a payday loan to help buy the indoor workout equipment you need.

4. Get a Gym Membership

Another way to get yourself going to the gym is to sign up for a gym membership. Ideally, you should choose a gym that is close to home or close to your work. This way your gym will be on the way so you can easily plan a stop to the gym on your daily schedule. You can even keep a locker at your gym so you’ll have all your shoes and workout clothes already there.

5. Find a Workout Buddy

Support is an important part of achieving any goal. A workout friend can help keep you accountable, motivated, and positive as you work toward your physical health goals.

Examples of Indoor Winter Workouts

at home workouts

Just because the outdoors are full of ice and snow, that doesn’t mean you can’t stay plenty active from the warmth and comfort of the indoors.

1. Sign Up for Indoor Sports

There are plenty of indoor sports teams you can join. You can even start your own team with friends! Sports don’t have to be professional or competitive, they can also just be for fun, socializing, and staying in shape. You can also do other indoor sports alone like swimming at the local indoor pool or rock climbing.

2. Use Workout Videos

Workout videos can be a fantastic way to get moving from the convenience of your living room. You can even find free workout videos on YouTube like Fitness Blender. There are plenty of expertly designed workout videos and subscriptions you can purchase as well, like Daily Burn.

3. Do Yoga Circuits

Yoga isn’t just for stretching, it has many great health benefits as a daily workout. Yoga with Adriene are free yoga workout videos you can find on YouTube to get you started.

4. Go Dancing

Sign up for a dance class and learn some cool skills while you workout! You can even find ways to teach yourself how to dance by watching videos or playing games like Just Dance!

5. Do Some Deep Cleaning

Yes, you heard right. You can get your house in order while you sweat by doing some intense spring cleaning early. Make cleaning into more of a workout by doing creative things like core twists while you mop the floor or lifting heavy baskets like they are weights.

6. Create Your Own Workout

Instead of using workout videos you can create your own workout routine with all your favorite moves. Here are a few to get you started:

  • Crunches
  • Plank
  • Mountain climbers
  • High knees
  • High kicks
  • Sidekicks
  • Pushups
  • Lunges
  • Squats
  • Jump rope
  • Jumping jacks
  • Stairs
  • Weights

Examples of Outdoor Winter Workouts

outdoor workouts

If you are going to exercise outside in winter then there are a few things you need to do to stay safe and be prepared.

  • Do extra-long warmups
  • Wear layers
  • Protect your extremities
  • Wear sunscreen
  • Wear Sunglasses to protect your eyes from the glare off the snow
  • Stay hydrated
  • Wear the right shoes and be careful of slipping on ice
1. Go Skiing

Skiing isn’t just fun it’s also a workout! It’s a sport you can do in winter that will give you a full-body workout.

2. Ski Uphill

Skiing uphill is also known as skinning or alpine touring. It involves placing a “skin” to the base of skis so you don’t slide backward and can in essence ski uphill. Snow adds some extra resistance to this uphill exercise making it a doozy of a workout.

3. Go Snowboarding

Another great winter sport to do is snowboarding. It can keep you occupied for hours, you can socialize with friends, and get an intense core workout in!

4. Trail Running

Trail running isn’t only for warmer months. You can still jog your favorite trails in winter, just make sure you layer up accordingly and beware of ice!

5. Hiking

Activities like hiking can be really fun to do in winter because it’s cold out and the sun isn’t as intense. Winter hikes can actually be more pleasant because you won’t be fighting the sun or the heat.

6. Sledding

Sledding isn’t just for children! It can be good for adults too. Not only that but you can have fun with the kids in your life all while getting an awesome workout into your day.

7. Ice Skating

Ice skating is a great activity because you can easily do it with friends or on your own. While ice skating you work unique muscles in your legs and abdomen. You can even take an ice skating class and learn some impressive new moves to show your friends.

8. Shovel Snow

This might seem like a chore but it doesn’t have to just be a chore. You can change your perspective on shoveling snow and include it in your workout regime.

9. Play in the Snow

There is a lot of fun to be had out in the snow. You can have a snowball fight, build a snowman, create an igloo, or pull each other around in sleds.

10. Snow Shoeing

Snow adds weight resistance that you can use to your advantage. Going on a walk in the snow can burn even more calories than if you were walking without snow.


Staying active is important for an endless amount of reasons. Physical fitness isn’t just important to your physical health but to your mental and emotional wellbeing as well. Don’t let your physical health plans fall by the wayside this winter by using these tips to finally win at winter workouts.


Save Money With Fun, Free, Winter Sports

Wish you could afford a set of skis, a snowboard, the accompanying gear, and those expensive mountain passes? Don’t feel ashamed if you can’t. Just thinking about all the expenses, ski lessons, time off work, passes, gear, and the tank of gas it takes to get to the canyon would make most people cringe. Sometimes the fun just doesn’t seem quite worth the cost. However, if you need to preserve your financial funds for more important causes, but still want to have some fun this winter, you can! Here are some great ideas for free winter activities that, with the right mindset, can rival even the most expensive sports out there.

Sledding

Sledding is a classic winter activity/sport. All you really need is snow and a hill, and you are set to sled. But what about an actual sled? Well, you don’t need one. If you don’t want to/can’t afford to go out and buy a sled, there are plenty of excellent substitutes you can use from home. A personal favorite is large trash bags. They are sitting around your house anyway and they make wicked fast sleds. But because they are so thin, you’ll probably want to make sure you have a good cushion of snow to sled down. (Or pack your pants with padding. Either way!) You can also use large cookie sheets, flat serving trays, or any other flat, solid thing you have lying around.

Snowball War

If you can call shooting a sport, you can call a snowball war a sport. Build up forts in your backyard, load up on ammo (please don’t make ice-balls or snowballs with rocks inside them!), pick teams, and fire away! You can make things more exciting my putting some water and food coloring in spray bottles and color coding your snowballs.

Hiking and Snow Caving

Hiking up a mountain and building a snow cave can be a fun and adventurous way to spend a winter weekend. However! Make sure you know what you are doing. Spending the night out in the cold in a snow cave can be deadly for people who don’t know what they are doing. Make sure you thoroughly research ways to keep yourself safe and/or go with an experienced snow-caver. When done right, it can be a blast!

Obstacle Course

Another fun outdoor winter activity is building snow obstacle courses in your yard. Especially if you have pets or kids (but not exclusively, of course!) this can be a super fun activity. Build jumps and tunnels, include building snowmen and making snow angels (all on the clock) and make this a fun competition. And it won’t cost a cent!

Snowshoe Hikes

Going snowshoeing is a great winter activity. If you don’t have snowshoes or can’t afford to buy or rent them, check out websites for free guided snowshoeing tours. Many national parks offer limited time free park-ranger guided snowshoeing hikes (shoes included)! Take advantage of what your community has to offer!

Don’t let your wallet limit your enjoyment of life. There are plenty of fun, exciting things to do during the winter to keep you active, healthy, excited, and money-smart!

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