Right now, a winter workout probably isn’t the first thing on your mind. Winter is often thought of as a time for cozying up in the house, indulging in holiday treats and decreasing our workouts and physical activities.
It can be very easy to start slacking on your health and becoming more and more lazy and unfocused during the winter.
The key to enjoying outdoor winter workouts and managing your weight year-round is finding activities that appeal to you and making sure that you are protected from the elements!
After all, wind and snow can put a damper on even the most seasoned athletes if you don’t wear proper clothing.
You also need to make sure you are properly hydrated and get the nutrition you need to power your workouts.
Check out The Free 7 Day Experience to find a meal plan that works for you, plus everything else you need to lose the weight and keep it off for good.
Now, let’s talk about fitness in winter.
Finding Fun Winter Workout Activities
If you are not sure what kind of fun winter workout activities may be ideal for you, you have come to the right place.
There are many winter workouts to choose from that will make exercising in cold weather fun and exciting.
There is something for everyone, so don’t be afraid to explore all of these options.
Exercising in cold weather doesn’t have to be a chore anymore, sister! You can even bring the rest of the family in on this winter fun, too.
Cross Country Skiing Keeps You Fit!
Cross country skiing is a fun and exciting winter workout that many people love. Because it works both the upper and lower body, it is one of the most intense winter workouts.
As any skier can tell you, it’s a challenging activity and an amazing calorie burner. You can burn as many as 340 calories in just 30 minutes of cross-country skiing.
Another plus, you can ski in your favorite park or on your favorite local trail! You do not need to spend a ton of money carpooling to the ski slopes with this versatile activity.
Snowshoeing is Wonderful Winter Cardio!
Snowshoeing also is a popular winter workout. This is a fun form of winter exercise that can burn up to 600 calories per hour, which is a lot!
You don’t have to invest a bunch of time and money in this hobby, either. You just need to find a used sporting goods store for snowshoes and hit your local park or even a field with your family. Then turn on your body’s fat-burning machine!
Snowshoeing could just become your new favorite fitness pastime this winter!
A Winter Sledding Workout!
Exercising in cold weather will feel like childlike fun when you add sledding to your to-do list this winter.
Sledding is a time-honored tradition that also is a surprisingly good workout.
A lot of the exercise comes from toting the sled up your chosen hill, but your body also uses several muscle groups to stay on the sled.
That’s not to say you won’t have fun if you fall off, though! That can make for some good laughs with the family, so don’t be afraid to let loose and enjoy yourself!
Downhill Skiing & Snowboarding is Hard-Core Exercise
Skiing (my absolute passion) and snowboarding are sports that may seem intimidating, but you can start participating at any time in your life. Not only do both activities provide amazing, full-body workouts, but they come with some pretty adorable gear and outfits, as well!
If you are scared to start, you can sign up for lessons on the bunny hill at your local ski resort. We promise you won’t be the only grownup there!
Playing In The Snow is a Harder Workout than You’d Expect!
If you want a fun winter workout that won’t break the bank, you can step outside with the family and play in the snow, the old-fashioned way.
Having a snowball fight, building a snowman, and just running around in the snow can burn a ton of calories and get your heart rate pumping. All you need to do is read our tips below on how to stay warm outside, and the rest is all up to you!
Get creative and remember… the more, the merrier!
Running or Walking in the Winter is Gorgeous!
Yes, you can go running or walking outside even if it is insanely cold! Bundling up and venturing outdoors in the winter can actually be very invigorating and enjoyable once you get used to it.
There is something about freshly fallen snow and the crisp wintery smell in the air that adds a touch of mystery and excitement to getting in your daily workout.
You just need to make sure you are properly dressed and wear secure footwear so that you don’t slip.
If you aren’t much of a runner, you can try some outdoor yoga if you want to add a winter element to your preexisting yoga routine (or even if you just want to begin practicing yoga). It can be very peaceful to stretch and breathe deeply with the beauty of nature all around you.
Ice Skate to Keep Fit During the Cold Months!
Few winter activities are as popular and universal as ice skating. Whether you go to an ice skating rink or venture out to your local park, you will definitely have a lot of fun taking the family ice skating this winter.
Ice skating burns about 500 calories an hour and is great for beginners and experts alike. The cost of renting a pair of ice skates is low and it just may be the answer to your cabin fever this season.
Fun fact about me, I put my first pair of skates on when I was two years old. I spent hours and hours in the rink growing up, practicing for competitions and coaching the younger kids.
Who would’ve thunk – a Canadian who figure skates? A cliche, but in my case, oh so true!
Tubing is Great Winter Exercise!
Tubing is another great winter workout that is fun for the whole family. There are many ski resorts that offer tube rentals, but you also could purchase or rent your own snow tubes and go to your local park (or utilize your own backyard).
Tubing can burn a lot of calories and provides a full-body workout. If you haven’t gone since you were a kid, now might just be the perfect time to get back into it!
Touch Football for a Winter Workout!
Touch football is not just for Thanksgiving anymore.
Starting a friendly game of touch football with the family or the neighborhood is a wonderful way to get your steps in and break a sweat.
You don’t need to spend a dime or drive anywhere to reap the benefits of this awesome activity. It is also the perfect way to get the kids off their phones and into nature over the holidays.
Ice Hockey for Keeping Fit in the Winter
Hockey is a fun winter activity you may not have thought to try. This super active sport burns about 200 calories in only 20 minutes and is fun as a competitive sport or a casual family game.
You have to make sure you have protective gear on, but it is truly a sport that everyone can get into if they have basic ice skating skills.
Don’t be afraid to try new things because you never know what you might love this winter!
Staying Warm While Exercising Outside
Clothing Guide for Winter Exercise
- Start with a great moisture-wicking base layer. The fabrics should pull the sweat away from your skin keeping you warmer. This is the most important layer. Spend a little extra money on it and make sure you wash it correctly. Follow the instructions because some fabrics should be dried, some not.
- Dress in layers. Base layer, long sleeve top, lightweight fleece, then wind-resistant or water-resistant jacket. On the bottom, wear a base layer, then thin fleece-lined leggings topped with wind-resistant/water resistant pants. Of course, this depends on the activity you are doing.
- Hats are a MUST! More heat escapes from your head than anywhere else. Keep your noggin warm! A simple wide headband made for outdoor exercise may do in some circumstances where you are doing a lot of cardio. Make sure it covers your ears and your forehead.
- Gloves are also key. FIngers need to be kept warm, too! Choose a glove that is appropriate for the activity you’re doing. When I’m skiing, I want a different glove (very warm for extra cold days or a thinner fleece-lined wind-resistant glove for warmer days). When I’m running or snowshoeing, I usually wear a thin athletic glove that breaks the wind on my knuckles but also allows my hands to breathe. I always carry an extra pair of gloves in my fanny pack.
- Don’t neglect your toes! My 5 little piggies need the best care! I choose 100% Merino wool socks… and the thinner the better! You heard that right! You don’t need super thick socks. In fact, thick socks don’t always mean more warmth. It may mean that there is extra fabric bunched in my boots that rubs and cuts off circulation. I like thin, high-quality socks that are moisture-wicking. The thinner sock doesn’t create extra pressure in my boots!
- Boots are super important, too. Choose your boots or footwear that is appropriate for the activity you are doing. Trust me, don’t try to wear ski boots for a jog. Go to a local store and buy shoes/boots that will suit what you are doing. One of my favorite tricks to avoid slips and falls is Yaktrax. They are like snow cleats that you can put on any shoe. This is my absolute go-to for running in the snow and ice. They keep me stable on my feet.
- Don’t forget your gators. No, not the Florida gators, your winter gators. They are waterproof, windproof wraps for your lower legs. The bottom has a strap that goes under your shoes/boots so that your entire ankle is covered. This is incredibly important for keeping your feet warm and dry. They also work great for cardio activities like running, snowshoeing, shoveling snow, etc., because the gators keep your feet dry so you don’t have to wear bulky ski pants.
- Fanny packs are a trusty go-to for winter gear. They are the perfect place to put your phone, extra gloves, headband, etc.. You also can put your extra layers in there when you take them off.
- Don’t forget an outer layer! I like jackets that have zipper vents because when I get hot,
I can open them up and then close them without having to take my entire jacket off.
General Tips For Cold Weather Exercise
- You will sweat outside. Plan for it! When you walk outside, you should be a little chilly but comfortable. If you are hot to begin with, you will be really hot when you start your winter workout.
- Because you can help your body regulate its temperature, you can typically work out for longer than you can in hot weather. This is your opportunity to push those distances farther than you have before.
- Because it is cold and your base layer will be soaking up the sweat, you may not realize how much you are actually sweating. Drink water throughout your workout even if you don’t feel thirsty. I see this mistake all the time – massive dehydration after cold outdoor workouts. Track your water intake and make sure you are hydrating yourself appropriately.
- Once you take off a layer, you will immediately feel cold. Give your body a few minutes to acclimate. If, after a few minutes you are still cold, put the layer back on.
- As you start your cool down, put your layers back on. The dampness from your sweat will become extra chilly as soon as your body stops moving.
- A hot shower is my best trick for warming back up after an outdoor winter workout.
- If you are doing heavy cardio and you feel like your lungs are freezing every time you take a deep breath, use a bandana tied around your nose and mouth. The extra fabric will warm the air and allow you to take the deep breaths you really need.
Now, go pick an outdoor activity to enjoy for your winter exercise, and be sure to bring your family and friends along with you!
And don’t forget to join The Free 7 Day Experience to find a meal plan and fitness routine that works for you whether it keeps you inside at the gym or out enjoying the winter weather.