Working out in the winter is hard; yes, even in California. It’s dark, it’s cold, and you’re wearing a lot of layers. All sound like great excuses to laze around on your couch drinking eggnog, but it’s especially important to keep up your workouts as the days shorten. Exercise will keep off those winter blues as well as boost your immune system, so bring on the workouts. Here are some ideas to mix it up:
1. Run outside.
Winter doesn’t confine you to gym workouts. Working out outside will not only increase your calorie burn, but it may also make you run faster. Studies have shown that runners are able to increase their pace in colder temps, so basically you’ll run faster and burn more calories, win-win.
2. Pop in a yoga/ dance video
Living in 2015 is great, because we can now get a solid workout in our own living room. If you simply can’t get yourself outside, stay inside. Some of my favorite workouts to do at home include:
Buti Fitness: Mixture of yoga, tribal dance, and of course lots of booty shaking. The best kind of workout if you’re feeling down.
Ballet beautiful: Created by Mary Helen Bowers, former New York City Ballet dancer and trainer to Natalie Portman for Black Swan, this ballerina is sure to whip you into shape dancer style.
3. Go winter backpacking
So, this ones a little more out there. It takes time, planning, and gear, but is worth it if you do. Winter backpacking means less people and gorgeous scenery, but it also means more planning and more layering. Make sure to start small (overnight trips) and work your way up from there. Do your research and be prepared for anything.
4. Go for a swim in a heated pool
Swimming feels great no matter what season. Swimming in a heated pool allows you to enjoy this activity no matter what season. So, find a pool in your area and start swimming, just remember to dry your hair before leaving, so that your hair doesn’t freeze.
5. Walk everywhere
Cooler temps is not an excuse to drive everywhere. If you live in a walkable area, then walk. Walk to dinner. Walk to work. Walk to the grocery store. Every step counts (Fitbit mentality). Added plus is getting to see all the holiday decorations out and about.
Skiing is a great way to have fun working out in the winter. Whether you cross country ski or downhill ski, you will torch quite the number of calories. Just one hour of downhill skiing burns 377 calories and one hour of cross country skiing burns 533 calories! So, strap on those skis and prepare for a glut/thigh burner.
Just because it’s cold, doesn’t mean you can’t still hit the trails on weekends. Check out the AllTrails app for good hikes in your area.
8. Try out snow shoeing
Here’s another good one. If there’s too much snow to hit the trails in your boots, than strap on some snow shoes and hit your favorite trails. Snow shoeing can feel clunky at first, but it burs over 400 calories an hour!
9. Ice Climb
Can’t say I’ve ever done this one myself, but my Mainer college roommates were big fans. If you’re a new comer I’d suggest holding your axes and starting off with a course to get the basics. Check out your local REI, for climbing classes near you.
10. Hot Yoga
You know what feels great when it’s cold? Sweating in a heated room in all sorts of pretzel poses. You’ll come out strong, warm, and hopefully more at peace. If you’re located in the Bay Area, Yoga to the People offers some free classes. Also, check out Corepower Yoga (first week free) for heated Vinyasa classes or a local Bikram class for an even toastier experience. Namaste.