As the days get shorter and the weather gets chilly, staying in shape can become more of a challenge. Fewer hours of sunlight means we are more likely to stay indoors rather than take that brisk walk that we may have enjoyed during the summer months. The colder weather also slows our metabolism which also can cause weight gain if we don’t stay active. Here are some tips for staying active and keeping the weight off during the winter months.
- Change your exercise routine
During the summer months, you might enjoy walking the dog or running outside to get your exercise. But cold weather and darkness can make this very difficult to maintain. So look into yoga, Pilates, or other fitness classes that you can go to before or after work to help you stay in shape. Consider buying a 3-month package that runs through the winter months to give structure to your program.
- Select your favorite in home exercise class on YouTube or purchase a DVD
These days you can do exercise classes in the comfort of your living room by simply going on YouTube and streaming the video to your TV or by purchasing your favorite exercise DVD on Amazon. Try searching YouTube for terms like “Pilates, Yoga, or Zumba fitness,” and your options will be endless. Pick a time for 30 minutes a day to exercise in your living room during the morning or evening and all you need is a yoga mat to get started!
- Pick a winter workout partner
Having a workout partner will significantly improve the chances that you will actually attend your yoga classes or perform your in-home winter exercise program. Your partner can be a significant other or friend. You can keep each other accountable when you have a day where motivation is running low. Track your weight loss progress and set goals so that you can fit into that new bathing suit when the warm weather arrives in spring.
- Buy a piece of cardio exercise equipment to use in your home
Having a treadmill, recumbent bike, or elliptical machine in your home is a great way to improve your cardiovascular health during the winter months. These days this does not have to be an expensive proposition. There are many storefronts and online website that sell used equipment. You don’t have to have the fanciest treadmill to get great usage out of it during the winter. Check out www.playitagainsports.com for certified used cardio equipment.
- Try a winter sport
Depending on where you live in the country winter sports can be a great way to stay in shape during the winter. Downhill or cross-country skiing provides some of the best cardiovascular workouts. While it may be a bit expensive to invest in equipment up front, you will be able to use your gear for years to come.
- Don’t forget to stretch
If you are a winter workout warrior, a little cold weather won’t keep you from your outdoor routine. But to avoid running injuries as well as maintain your peak exercise performance, make sure to stretch. While it is always important to properly warm-up and stretch, muscles tend to tighten in colder weather, making them more prone to sports injuries.