Wintertime brings cold temperatures, darker days, rain and snow, so it makes sense that most Americans are retreating from regular exercise in favor of things like hot chocolate by the fire and other equally toasty activities.
But not you, brave warrior. Armed with these tips from fitness experts, you’ll be downward dogging and burpee-ing your way straight through winter.
Besides, there’s always time for hot chocolate — after your winter workout.
1. Make An Investment
Maybe the cold is weighing a little too heavily on your mind. It could be because you’re not wearing the right clothes. Celebrity fitness trainer Lacey Stone recommends investing in a hat and hoodie to keep your head and chest warm, plus gloves. “Buy the right workout apparel,” Stone tells HuffPost Healthy Living. “You don’t want to stop just because of the elements.” Plus, ear muffs and scarves have a serious cuteness factor! Or maybe the investment isn’t in gear. Consider splurging on a personal trainer for a month of two. “You invest in a lot of things in your life,” says Stone. “Why not a coach?” Or sign up for a challenge: It could be a month of Spinning rides, a winter race or a competition at your gym. The Sweat Garage in Los Angeles, for instance, is holding “December Challenge” classes in which trainers will record your two-mile runs and reps on exercises like pushups, burpees and crunches. By the end of December, you’ll see some noticeable gains.
2. Make The Season Work For You
Corin Safe, an Olympic weight lifting coach who works at a CrossFit gym in Chicago, grew up in Minnesota and is no stranger to extreme weather. During the winter, Safe goes snow-shoeing, sledding and ice skating with friends — all the activities that are pretty much impossible to do any other time of year. Her favorite activity, though, is a simple winter walk.
“I am a huge fan of going on a walk, no matter what the temperature is,” says Safe. “Put on your boots and get out there. After 30 minutes, you’ll feel awesome, because walking reduces stress and promotes a little bit of meditation.”
“Plan one active outing for every holiday celebration,” says Elle Penner, MPH, RD, who works for the weight loss app MyFitnessPal. “While you’re adding those holiday parties and dinners to the calendar, pencil one active outing into your schedule as well.”