It’s no secret that most of us exercise less during the winter months than we should. (Few of us are willing to go for a jog when it’s 32 degrees and sleeting outside.) However, that doesn’t mean you should neglect exercising until springtime. Our bodies tend to store fat more easily in the colder months, and many people favor heartier, more calorie-rich food in the wintertime. The result is that come spring, many of us weigh a little more than we should. One of the best ways to combat typical winter weight gain is by sticking to a good exercise routine. Here are some tips to help you enjoy healthy exercise all winter long:
Workout indoors. A gym membership really comes in handy during the wintertime. You can also exercise indoors using workout DVDs and free online video programs (try YouTube). Many people also keep a treadmill or exercise bike at home to use during inclement weather. Even jogging up and down the stairs in your home can be a great workout when it’s too cold to be outside. Some barbells and a pull-up bar in the basement is another inexpensive way to get the exercise you need.
Take up a winter sport. Skiing, skating and snowshoeing are all excellent aerobic activities that help you burn calories and stay in shape. Or check out group sports like volleyball or dodgeball that are fun and help keep you active. Many people also enjoy indoor soccer and basketball leagues in the winter. Other activities such as climbing gyms also offer great opportunities for fun exercise.
Just get out there. The great thing about exercise is that it warms you up quickly. So if you are going for an exercise run in the winter, pretend that it’s 15 to 20 degrees warmer than it is and dress appropriately. Avoid wearing cotton this time of year when you are exercising. It’s better to wear fabrics that “wick” moisture from the skin and help keep you dry when you sweat.
Stay Motivated. One of the best reasons to exercise in the winter is that you won’t have to worry about being out of shape come springtime. Sticking with your exercise plan now means you’ll be ready to make even more progress on your exercise goals in the future. Remember that if you have any conditions including heart problems, asthma or Raynaud’s syndrome, you should consult with your doctor first before exercising outdoors in the wintertime.