Warm weather invites outdoor recreation and increases physical activities, such as hiking, playing at a local park, or riding bikes. For many people, colder weather has the opposite effect. Over winter, many people are less active, preferring to cozy up on the couch and read or watch tv. One study found that women were inactive about an hour more a day in winter compared to warmer months. Another study found that kids move less during the winter, too. So if cold, rainy, or snowy weather makes you feel like skipping your daily walk, what can you do? Move more indoors!
Like group fitness classes at a gym, workout videos are great for motivation. The instructor encourages you to give it your best, and helps you push through the tough parts. Videos can also be a great option for beginners, as the instructors give safety cues and tips for using proper form. Just be sure to look for videos with made for beginners or that demonstrate different levels of intensity. Here’s a good guide for finding a workout video that fits your needs from Kentucky Cooperative Extension.
Low or no cost equipment
Contrary to popular belief, you can get a great workout with just your bodyweight. Check out this long list of bodyweight exercises from AceFitness. Space and funds permitting, you can make an effective home gym with a small investment in a few inexpensive pieces of equipment. With a mat/towel, resistance band, and an exercise ball, you can do a variety of different strength and cardio exercises.
Fitting in fitness
Maybe your schedule or preferences is better suited to shorter bursts of activity throughout the day. For example, you can march in place, do triceps dips, or lunges during commercial breaks while you watch tv. Or do calf raises while washing dishes. Take a few trips up and down a flight of stairs. Or my favorite, bust out a few desk push-ups when you need a quick boost of energy at work.
Try these other tips for fitting in fitness.
Don’t let cooler weather derail your fitness goals. You can stay active all winter long by finding indoor exercise ideas that work for you. Whether that’s finding workout videos to do in your living room, mixing and matching your favorite low/no equipment exercises in a home gym, or increasing your lifestyle physical activities, they all count towards meeting the recommended 150+ minutes of activity a week. Or if you’re like the USPS and not phased by cold, wind, rain, or snow, then layer up and keep running/walking/biking/hiking outdoors!
Share with us: What effect does winter have on your physical activity levels? How do you adjust for that?