Staying fit when it’s cold outside can be a big challenge for many people, especially for those who rely on outdoor activities to keep them in shape. From running to biking to playing seasonal sports, you’ll have to change up your exercise routine to accommodate lower temperatures, earlier sunsets, and even ice or snow.

So, how can you stay motivated when you have to bring your workout inside? With the right attitude, winter can actually be a time of mental and physical growth. Here are a few tips to warm up your winter workout routines.

Looking Toward a Long-Term Goal

Many people need a goal to encourage them to stick to their fitness habits, maybe even more so during the slower, colder winter months. If you enjoy running or biking, sign up for a race that starts at the first sign of spring. You can train in the gym by hopping on the treadmill or a stationary bike, or by stocking up on winter gear and braving the cold and the dark for outdoor training. Either way, paying the money ahead of time for a race can motivate you to make the effort.

If running on a treadmill sounds like a snooze, try downloading a few podcasts or audiobooks that you’re really interested in, but only listen to them during a workout. If you’re struggling to stay focused on a stationary bike, trying signing up for a Spin class. The energy and excitement will pump you up and keep you in shape for race day.

Working Out with Your Furry Friends

Winter weather not only impacts your workout, but it can change everyday activities for your dog, too. Some people enjoy running with their pups, while others wind down from the workday with an evening stroll. Chances are your dog loved this routine and probably misses it just as much as you do. Bring your fitness fun indoors by building an indoor obstacle course, playing hide-and-seek, or starting an energetic game of tug-of-war with your pup’s favorite toy. Keeping your dog active is important for his physical as well as his mental health. Dogs that are positively stimulated are less likely to get bored, meaning they will chew less and have fewer indoor accidents.  

Trying Out Tabata

Tabata training uses four-minute high-intensity workouts to maximize cardio and strength training. You work as hard as you can for 20 seconds, rest for 10 seconds, and complete eight rounds. Tabata exercises range from simple moves, like jump squats or jumping jacks, to more difficult ones, like chin-ups or box jumps. You can have no equipment or loads of fitness gadgets – the choice is yours. The main point to remember is to really push yourself for those 20 seconds. 

Winter often comes with challenges to staying fit, from big family meals to the stress of holidays. The last thing you need is a lag in your workout routine. By getting creative with your indoor workouts, you’ll stay motivated, work your body in new ways, and build stronger bonds with your pets.

Photo: Pixabay