6 ways to stay fit in winter

Posted at 2:49 PM, Jan 10, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-10 14:53:04-05

If winter puts you in hibernation mode and you find yourself skipping your daily gym routine, it’s time to find a workout that actually works.

Don’t let the chill in the air keep you from staying healthy. Instead, follow these six tips to stay fit in winter.

Do Tabata training at home

Tabata is an intense 20-minute workout that you personalize with exercises you want to do. First, you choose four exercises, such as squats, pushups, abdominal twists and jumping jacks. Starting with the first exercise, do as many as you can for 20 seconds and then rest for 10 seconds. Repeat that process eight times, for a total of four minutes. You then take a one-minute rest before doing the same thing with the next exercise.

By going as hard as you can for 20 seconds at a time, you get an intense and achievable workout. All four exercises take 20 minutes, after which you can stop or choose four more exercises to fit in another 20 minutes.

To help you time your workout, download a free or inexpensive tabata app, or use an online timer. Many timers are customizable to fit your workout needs.

Practice hot yoga

Trying a hot yoga class will get you out of the house while still letting you exercise indoors. You also may feel so warm afterward you won’t mind the cold walk back to your car. Hot yoga, also called bikram yoga, takes place in a room with the heat turned up — how high depends on the instructor, although 90-something degrees is typical. Find a yoga teacher or studio near you to sweat out your winter blues.

Eat seasonal fruits and vegetables

If knowing what is in season sounds overwhelming, simply take a look at your grocery store’s produce section, or check out a winter farmers market. Seasonal fruits and vegetables will have less impact on your wallet and taste better than out-of-season options. If fresh produce goes bad at your house, dedicate a freezer shelf and a pantry shelf to frozen and canned fruits and veggies, and stock up. Even if you buy the fresh stuff, having frozen or canned food on hand will help you bridge the gap between shopping trips.

Help your community

Next time it snows, pull out a shovel and get to work. Shoveling your own sidewalk and driveway is a workout in itself, and you can amp it up by shoveling around nearby houses, as well. You'll get a great workout and have grateful neighbors. They may even return the favor next time you’re running late for work and a snowstorm hits.

Walk the dogs

Your furry family members need exercise, too, so double your productivity by walking with them around the block. Not only do you all get exercise, but wearing them out means they’ll be ready to snooze, and you can have a quiet evening at home. If you can’t bear the thought of going outside, have indoor playtime. Throw a toy, chase them around the house, wrestle or play whatever will wear out both you and your best friend.

Try winter sports

Skiing, snowboarding and snowshoeing are all fun options and provide great exercise. If those are too adventurous (or too pricey), nothing beats good old-fashioned sledding. You can pick up a basic sled at your local department store and get your kids or neighbors to join in the fun. An afternoon or evening of sliding down hills and walking back up will fly by and give you a great workout. You can even cap off the activity with a mug of healthy hot cocoa.