It can be tempting to curl up under a blanket when it’s cold outside and sip on something warm, but going into a sort of hibernation mode could cause your workout routine to stall long-term. Rather than letting your workouts come to a grinding halt when the thermometer drops, consider these cold-weather workout tips that are sure to warm you up better than a fireplace and keep your workout goals on track all season long.
As the days get shorter, it can be difficult to get motivated once the sun sets (or even before it rises). A warm bed can be pretty inviting after all. If you’re finding it tough to get up and get active, consider making a commitment to someone else. For those who are motivated by their obligations to others, a local competitive sports or intramural league may be the best way to get active and stick with it. Most cities offer low-cost indoor sports leagues in the wintertime for sports such as dodgeball, squash, or badminton. Of course, ice hockey teams or snowshoeing, curling, or skiing clubs are also up and running during the colder months. Whatever your sport or activity of choice, signing up for a team or club will help you stick to it.
If a big snowfall drops, rather than curling up on the couch, consider heading outside with a shovel for a core strength and cardio workout. Shoveling walkways and driveways around your house will raise your core temperature while burning calories and getting the heart pumping. Further lengthen your workout and boost its effects by helping neighbors dig out their cars or offering to keep the public walkway in front of their home clear as well. Not only will your body thank you for the much-needed activity, but you’ll also be helping out others and giving yourself a feel-good boost. Just make sure to maintain proper form—bend your knees and lift with your legs, not your back. Avoid hunching your shoulders over when pushing the shovel and turn your whole body in the direction you’re dumping the snow, as opposed to just twisting your torso. Also, if you can, switch between using your left and right arms to throw so that you get a more even workout.
There are plenty of online workout and fitness challenges that you can use to motivate yourself. Whether it’s a plank a day or 30 days of yoga, there’s something for everyone. Try searching for fitness challenges in your favorite wellness magazines or ask your gym if they have any current or upcoming challenges you can join. Alternatively, if there’s a fitness goal you’ve been wanting to achieve, create your own 30-day challenge that helps you keep on track and work your way up to checking that goal off your list. (Having an actual list or calendar posted somewhere that you can check off every day will make it easier to stay accountable and follow through.) Your personal 30-day challenge could also just be to make time to fit in a few fitness moves while at work. Whatever the challenge, use the 30-day period to motivate you to get moving and the results to inspire you to stick with it after your challenge is over.
For partners looking for ideas to get fit together this winter, dance classes may just fit the bill. High-energy styles like salsa or even more elegant styles like ballroom dancing will keep you moving, help you learn something new, offer some much-needed motivation, and keep it fun while you both work on hitting those workout goals. There are countless styles for partners or singles. Simply contact a local dance studio to see what options are available and get swinging this season.
A social skate during the colder months can double as a workout if you mix it up a little during your laps around the rink. Increase your pace for a couple laps here and there to get your heart pumping and try skating backwards to work out different muscle groups. This can also be a great idea to socialize with friends and family in a more active way than just eating and drinking around a table.
For those who still prefer a run outside over a session on the treadmill, you don’t have to suffer from chilly temperatures before your body gets warmed up enough mid-run. Instead, get more motivated to take that first step out into the cold by warming up inside. Try mixing jumping jacks, toe taps, lunges, and stretches to get your circulation going and your body warm before heading outdoors for your daily run.
For a little extra warmth and an added boost to your workout results, consider a customized body shaping treatment plan during the colder months. One of the top treatments for winter, radio frequency (RF) treatments utilize cutting-edge technology to deliver uniform heat deep below the skin’s surface. In the case of body shaping treatments, fat cells in the treatment area are targeted and broken down for a smoother, tighter silhouette. While it certainly isn’t a substitute for exercise, a customized body shaping treatment plan may offer the results and motivation you’re looking for to stick to your workout plan throughout the colder months.
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