Winter Fitness Tips

As cold weather approaches, and all it brings along (snow, ice and longer commutes,) it is so easy to come up with an exuse to skip your workout. Don’t. If there is any time you need excerise the most, it’s in those dreary winter months. With all the time indoors, many people get seasonal depression. Even if it’s not outside, excercise improves your mood with that rush of endorphins.

Winter is also obviously the Holiday Season.That means more rich, calorie and fat-laden foods. While you definitely shouldn’t try to burn off everything you eat, a consitant and intense workout regimine can keep your weight from fluxuating too much during the holiday season. Try to get your workout in first thing.

Most holiday parties and activities are in the evening, anyway. You’ll feel much more confident in your new dress when you can appreciate how hard you worked for your physique. Exercise’s endorpins also naturally bost your mood and confidence, two essentials for party conversations.

If you’re hosting, working out first thing will make the day go smoother. By taking time for yourself first, it’ll be easier to handle all that cooking and cleaning ahead. 

While you probably won’t get frost bite by taking your workout outdoors, (assuming you’re properly dressed) don’t force yourself to run, walk or bike outside, if you don’t enjoy it. It’s about the quality of the workout. If you’re just going to shuffle along because you’re terrified of slipping on ice, it’s a waste of time.

There are some many options for effective and intense workouts indoors. And, you’re not just limited to boring machines. Swimming and yoga are two of my favorite winter workouts. With all the traveling we do during the holidays,we get stiff and inflexible muscles. Swimming is cardio but all the strokes have a stretching-based movement.

As for yoga, hot power yoga is my favorite choice. When it’s freezing outside, it feels great to be able to strip down to a tank top and shorts and actually break a sweat. Yoga sculpt is a great hot power yoga class (avaliable at Corepower and Power Life yoga studios.) You get your toning, stretching and cardio in, in just 45 minutes or an hour. This makes yoga sculpt a great option during the holiday season, when you have a packed schedule.

If you’re an athlete like me,  (actually we’re all athletes, but you know what I mean) this may be your off season. From early Novemeber to mid February, I have my break between cross country and track. I take two weeks off from running completely (following a shakeout run the day after my last meet) and then start running a few times a week until track offically starts (but no real workouts.)

The offseason is so important. When you give your body time to recover and rebuild, your performance is so much better than if you didn’t take a break. You’re legs and mental toughness are fresh.

During my two weeks off, I’m backing up a little on the frequency of hot power yoga classes (mainly because of scheduling issues a.k.a. Driver’s Ed and Power Sculpt Teacher Training.) and am swimming 2-3 times a week. I’m also planning on taking a weekly-or-so spin class. This is a much lighter workout load than I’m used to, but it’s actually kind of nice because I have some extra time to work on my blog and school work. Remeber that the above is what works for me. There is no one-size-fits-all workout prescription.

Here are some other great indoor workout options:

  • Cross Fit
  • HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training-some gyms offer classes, or you can find lots of printable workouts on Pinterest!)
  • Spin classes
  • Boot camp
  • Barre
  • Classic group fitness classes (step aerobics, cardio kickboxing, Pilates, Piloxing, etc.)
  • Rowing machine
  • TRX
  • Walking/running on an indoor track
  • Running stairs
  • Youtube at home workout videos (there’s an endless supply of these.)

I hope these tips help you stay in tip-top shape this season!

Leave any questions in the comments below!

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