When it gets colder outside, we’re all tempted to go into hibernation mode — lighting up the fireplace and getting comfy under the blankets. While there are good reasons to slow down during this time of year, that doesn’t mean neglecting exercise.
To help you stay active this winter, we’ve compiled some winter exercise ideas covering all ages and fitness levels.
Outdoor Winter Exercise Ideas
Want to enjoy the great outdoors, even when it’s cold? Here are some ideas for getting exercise outside during the winter:
- Brisk nature walks
- Sledding or snowshoeing
- Cross-country or downhill skiing
- Raking leaves
- Shoveling snow
- Jogging or running
- Football with the family
- Playing in the snow
- Ice hockey or ice skating
Some of these will depend on where you live. If you live in areas that get snow during the winter months, you’ll have more winter-related outdoor activities to choose from. And if you live in a warmer climate, it will be easier to get outside for a jog or bike ride when the weather is crisper.
Indoor Exercise Ideas During the Winter
There are many ways you can exercise at home in winter, saving you time and the need to bundle up for a trip outside. Indoor exercise in other places can also keep you healthy while getting you out of the house a little.
You can make your inside time count with exercise ideas like:
- Home workout circuits, including bodyweight, free weights, and resistance bands workouts (find routines on YouTube or other video platforms)
- Stair climbing
- Yoga, Pilates, or Tai chi
- Active housework, such as sweeping, mopping, or vacuuming
- Mall walking
- Indoor trampoline
- Roller skating
- Gym workouts, such as indoor cycling, swimming, or rock climbing, lifting weights, and cardio machines
- Fun group classes at your local gym, studio, or community center
How to Stay Active and Safe in the Winter
When exercising outside in the winter, here are some tips to stay safe and healthy.
1. Layer It Up and Remove Clothes Wisely
Layers are your friend when staying active in the cold. Layering your clothes will help trap body heat while protecting you against rain, snow, or other elements.
Use several layers of clothing when you exercise outdoors. That way, you can easily remove layers as your body heats up from the activity. The layers should include:
- First layer: moisture-wicking fabric that pulls moisture away from your skin
- Second layer: clothing made of fleece
- Third layer: thin waterproof layer
Also, avoid wearing cotton clothing in your layers. When cotton gets wet (either from the elements or your own sweat), the fabric will trap moisture against your body and leave you feeling colder.
2. Be Aware of Hypothermia
Hypothermia happens when your body can’t keep your internal temperature high enough. It typically means your core temperature falls below about 95°F.
Although hypothermia is associated with being outside in freezing weather, it can also happen when someone has become chilled from being wet and cold.
Know the signs of hypothermia:
- Mental confusion
- Slurred speech
- Slowed reaction time
- Cold hands and feet
Stay safe by wearing appropriate clothing for the weather, including layering with suitable material.
3. Stay Hydrated
You might find it harder to drink water regularly during cold months. You’re not noticing thirst as much as when it’s hot during the summer. But staying hydrated is important year-round, so be sure you’re drinking enough water.
4. Avoid Exercising at Dark
Winter means shorter days and earlier evenings. When you’re active this time of year, it’s best to work out before dark for your own safety. If you do go outside when it’s dark, wear reflective clothing so that motorists can see you at night.
The Bottom Line
These winter exercise ideas are just one part of staying healthy during the winter. At MNP, we provide a range of nutritional supplements for the needs of your entire family.