Living in LA, I’m spoiled with the ability to go outside pretty much everyday. The two days it poured all day last month, I went a little stir crazy inside. It seems like the reasons to avoid staying active are rampant year round, but cold and wet weather limitations are probably the most legitimate reason to keep us inside, warm, and sedentary. In an effort to keep us all moving, here are five basic winter exercise tips. . .
Winter Exercise Tips
1. Gym Dates
For those of you who enjoy the gym, but just can’t seem to get there on the regular, try making gym dates! This can be done in a few ways. The first obvious way is to ask a friend to meet you there on a consistent basis. Even if you meet up there one night per week and chat while you’re on treadmills or ellipticals, that’s great! You can switch up those coffee dates to gym dates and feel all the better for it.
If that doesn’t work (or you need another way to get there more times during the week), try coordinating your gym visits with your favorite TV show. When I first started going to the gym years ago, I went so that I could watch Regis & Kelly while I walked on the treadmill. I enjoyed watching the show far more than working out, but it started to get me there on the regular. You could also bring your phone or tablet and catch up on an episode of the show your binge watching while you walk!
Need a little help finding the right winter exercise classes for you? Try MINDBODY. The app helps you find deals on any kind of workout classes nearby so you aren’t stuck going to the same gym class or even the same gym! It also helps you remember when those classes are that you’ve been wanting to check out!
2. YouTube Series
If you hate the gym or don’t have a good one near you, try working out at home. YouTube has SO many great channels for any kind of workouts. Below are some that I’ve done as well as a few some of you shared with me on Instagram!
Yoga with Adrienne – a great one for VERY beginning yoga and up to much more advanced. Videos are 20-30 minutes – a great length for quick workout at home or at lunch.
Blogilates – A great source for at home pilates, her channel offers multi-day challenges for various aspects (stretching, abs, etc.) as well as one-off videos to focus on each muscle group in your body.
POPSUGARFit – This channel has a variety of instructors (good if you really need variety). They offer 10-45 minute workout sessions varying from cardio and kickboxing to just upper arm workouts (no equipment required).
The thing about doing workouts on your own, however, is that you HAVE to set up a schedule for yourself. Pick your day and time and put it into your calendar – you’ll have no good excuse for forgetting to do it then!
3. Fitness apps
Along the same line as YouTube channels are the plethora of fitness apps out there. Many of the good ones cost something, but it’s FAR less than a monthly gym membership. Many of them offer a short trial period, so you can give them a try before paying!
BeachBody on Demand – The BeachBody app (available in Apple and Google stores) offers a wide variety of workouts at varying lengths (10-80 minutes). You can track calories in addition to keeping track of which workouts you’ve already done. You can even download a workout to do offline (or at least on-the-go)!
PilatesAnytime – If you haven’t tried pilates, I can’t encourage you enough to give it a shot. It’s great core workout that’s fast-paced enough that you don’t feel too relaxed. You’ll notice results soon. Pilates Anytime offers lessons at all levels – beginners to teacher level, so you can start wherever you feel comfortable!
FitBit Coach App – If you have a FitBit (read my honest FitBit Review here), then you might opt for the FitBit Coach app which offers 7-60 minutes workout sessions, a few radio stations, and it keeps track of your workouts in your FitBit app!
MyFitnessPal – If you’re working out but need a good way to keep track of calories burned AND the food you eat, try MyFitnessPal. It lets you keep track of all of the above in one single app and provides good motivation and organization! This is a great idea for winter esxercise and food since cold weather eating tends to be heavier!
4. Mall Walking (or Target!)
Since working out in the gym or in your living room can get old day after day, try mall walking. I know you’re thinking I’m crazy, but shopping centers and stores offer great expanses of INDOOR walking space. Oftentimes malls are open before and/or after the stores, so check the hours and get to walking. Take a few laps around the building and get your legs moving. A Target or similarly big store is also a good option for some laps. To prevent you from getting too distracted, I’d recommend leaving your wallet at home – you’re there to work out not go shopping!
5. Do the Little Things
This last recommendation is a catchall. Since cold weather really limits movement, you have to be proactive about doing everything you can when you can. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Park at the wrong entrance to a building to get extra steps before arriving at your destination. Don’t be above doing small laps around your home. And on that note, add a few stretches or squats to your morning and evening routines. Each of these things won’t feel like much, but you’d be amazed what just that little bit can do to add to your daily activity. AND REMEMBER TO GET OUTSIDE ANY CHANCE YOU GET! Those non-rain/snow days can be few and far between for some of you, so ditch all your plans and get outside for even 15-20 minutes when you see an opportunity!