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5 Tips for Staying in Shape This Winter

  • 9 min read
illustration of characters doing a winter workout

Winter is the perfect time to get your winter exercise on!

Even though it’s cold, dark and your motivation level might be nonexistent, it’s vital that you stay in shape during the colder months.

From experience, the lack of movement causes more problems than staying active. In other words, your bones and muscles will thank you for keeping up with your exercise regime even when it’s too cold to get out of bed.

There are plenty of ways to stay in shape, especially at home, and even increase your winter exercise regime.

Here are a few winter exercises to help you stay in shape during the cold weather:

1. Create a Warm-Up Routine

During the cold months, it’s harder for the body to warm up so you can get a good sweaty workout in. By creating or following a great warm-up routine, you’ll prime your body for the workout ahead.

When you wake up, stretch and move around to get your blood flowing before jumping into a full workout session or gym visit.

When it’s time for your fitness session, do not skip your warm-up. It will help your muscles and joints effectively warm up before you begin applying weights or doing cardio.

If you’re not sure where to start, there are plenty of videos you can follow on YouTube.

My all-time favorite is the 10 Min Ultimate Warmup by Popsugar Fitness. This video gets your body ready for whatever workout you feel like doing, especially when you’re exercising in the cold.

2. Increase Your Intensity Level to Burn More Calories

During winter, it’s easy for your intensity levels to drop because of the weather conditions.

There’s just something about the cold that makes you feel like staying under the warm covers all day. But as we know from earlier, less movement causes more issues.

By increasing the level of exercise, such as incorporating HIIT workouts, you’ll quickly burn calories and avoid a slew of mental and physical health problems.

The winter months are unkind to our skin, muscles, bones, and joints. Plus, the risk of injury increases because of how hard it is to get the body warmed up sometimes.

Increase your intensity levels so that even when it’s cold, dark, and depressing outside, you will still be able to burn calories and keep your body healthy!

A great playlist of high-intensity, low-impact workout videos to follow is from the YouTube channel Body Project. These two will turn up the intensity level safely, so you can burn all those calories in a short 20 minutes.

3. Take up Winter Sports

Ice skating, skiing, or snowboarding are fun sports and still allow your body to work hard!

All these activities improve balance which is extremely important for staying active as you age since it supports bone health.  

These activities really test your fitness level.

For example:

When I tried snowboarding for the first time, I was in really good shape or so I thought. The following day, the mountain challenged me and threw me around like a rag doll. I had to roll out of bed in order to get up. I was completely sore. However, it was all worth it because the fun I had learning to stand up on my board was worth all the pain.

If you’re not ready to take up winter sports, try walking with high knees in the snow or with your dog! 

Your pup will love it, and this activity is a great way for both of you to get out into nature during the cold months.

Just be careful and look out for icy patches that can cause slips or falls, which may cause serious injury.

Keep in mind that doing an outdoor exercise when the temperatures are below zero is never a good idea.

If you can’t make it to the gym, stay home and find a great workout video on YouTube to get your exercise in.

4. Do More Yoga

Yoga is a great winter exercise because it keeps your body flexible while warming up your muscles.

It also helps you to relax which can be hard to do during the long, cold months of winter when the sun is hiding behind all the snow and clouds!

My favorite yoga video to follow in the mornings for a full-body stretch is from the YouTube channel Yoga with Cassandra.

This short ten minutes stretch gets all the tension out of the muscles while making them flexible, helps me prevent injuries, and stay mentally relaxed too!

I love YouTube videos because they’re like having a personal trainer available anytime I need a good stretch or an intense workout.

If you’re just starting with yoga or don’t know which exercises are right for you, Yoga with Adriene is a great place to start.

I started out with her 30 days of Yoga playlist and quickly learned the names of the poses and how to do them effectively.

It takes dedication to start and continue your journey. I missed a few days when I first started and did more than one video in a day to stay on track. My goal was to learn, not finish a challenge just for the sake of finishing, and I ended up doing both.

Don’t be too hard on yourself if you find that you’re falling behind. Life happens, and some days are better than others. The key is to stay motivated to get through the dark periods and to get more active.

Don’t forget that winter exercises are not just for your body; they’re also for your mind!

5. Make a List of Winter Exercises

Cold weather exercises are not just limited to the activities mentioned above.

The possibilities are endless. It can be anything from going for a walk in your neighborhood with the dog, taking up an indoor sport like badminton or tennis, doing weights at home, or simply playing around outside when it’s nice out!   

If you’re feeling unmotivated about exercising right now because the days have been short and there is no sun outside, then try looking online for exercise ideas that would work best for YOU.  

Include things you might enjoy but never tried before. Don’t limit yourself! 

Pick one idea every day this week to get started on making changes toward participating in more activities.

Beat the Winter Blues by Staying Active

stay active, written on cubes

The key is to stay motivated and committed to your fitness journey no matter what season you’re in.

We all have busy lives with work, school, social events, family commitments, and much more, which makes it hard to find time for fitness but a healthy mind promotes a healthy body and vice versa.

It’s important, especially during the cold months, that you stay active no matter what because it will decrease your risk of illnesses, weight gain, and injury.  

By taking up new activities, you can expand your training indoor or outdoor to get the best workout no matter the temperature outside.

Got any great winter exercise ideas that you love to do in the colder months?

Join in the conversation by leaving a comment below!               

I hope these five tips for staying active during the cold weather season will help motivate you to get fit or stay fit.

Start today by picking one idea from this list, making it happen, sticking with it, and watching how much good exercising can improve your overall life!    

How are you planning on staying fit this winter?

Questions You May Have

Is it good to exercise in winter?

It’s very important to stay in shape, no matter what time of year. Why? What your body looks like now affects how it functions, which will affect how you feel and also have an impact on how you look for years to come.

How do I get fit in winter?

The easiest way to stay in shape is by staying indoors. Especially if it’s below freezing, you can still work out with cardio machines like a treadmill or use weights inside your home or at the gym to keep your muscles moving and burn calories. Working out at a higher intensity and duration occasionally will help you burn more calories with less effort.

What should I do each day to stay in shape?

The key to staying in shape is to make a habit of exercising daily and to vary your routine. You don’t want to get bored with your workout, so mix it up by doing different types of exercises each day. This could be something as simple as taking a brisk walk or going for a light jog, or it could be something more strenuous like weightlifting or Pilates.

What are the benefits of staying in shape?

Staying in shape will have a tremendous impact on your energy levels. Even if your workout is only 30 minutes long, you’ll feel like you have more energy throughout the day. It will also help you keep off any excess weight since exercise burns calories.

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Jody

Jody is a creative writer, artist, graphic designer, and a digital nomad who also helps people live more fulfilling lives by finding creative solutions to their personal growth and development problems and lifestyle challenges.

10 thoughts on “5 Tips for Staying in Shape This Winter”

  1. Great tips I like the yoga one. Because that one sounds simple for me.

    1. Jody

      Do exactly what works best for you Pam

  2. This is a great post and some great tips! Thanks, I will def make notes of some ๐Ÿ˜‰

    1. Jody

      Take as many notes Hanna ๐Ÿ˜Š

  3. Thanks for this post every year I always say ima get in shape and never do because I get busy but I will be using some of these tips and hopefully it will keep me on track

    1. Jody

      You can do it Brenda, I believe in you

  4. Sue

    These are great tips! Winter is definitely a difficult time to get motivated to work out, these tips are helpful!

    1. Jody

      Iโ€™m happy theyโ€™re helpful to you Sue, donโ€™t let this winter keep you from being fit! Thanks for reading.

  5. These are great ideas. I like that you encouraged activity combined with fun activities or activities you enjoy. I know ice skating is more of an enjoyable activity for me , I don’t even consider it exercise

    1. Jody

      Ice skating is a wonderful, fun and great workout so have fun

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