Stay Active This Winter
If you’re new to outdoor activity in winter, walking is a good way to begin. It’s an effective cardio workout that suits a range of fitness levels. Try to choose activities that are appropriate for your abilities, and those you truly enjoy. If you’re going out walking, you can warm up by doing some simple stretches and by walking at a slower pace for the first 5 to 10 minutes of your walking routine. Additionally, be sure to dress for the weather. Choose performance exercise clothes and outerwear that allow you to layer on a thin, thermal first layer — a pullover and leggings, for instance — and then a vest, pants, and an outer shell that’ll give you warmth without bulkiness and enable you to peel off the layers as you heat up.
Winter Fitness: Head for the Hills
Winter is the perfect time for outdoor sports such as downhill and cross-country skiing, snowboarding, and other snow-based activities. If it’s nice out, even walking in the snow is great cardio because it takes more effort than walking on a clear sidewalk or track. Also, this is fun to do with friends.
Indoor Activities at the Gym
Use the season as an excuse to expand your exercise repertoire and check out new fitness classes offered in your area. If you’ve wanted to try a new fitness activity at your gym, stop hesitating and sign up. Whether you’re interested in spinning, kickboxing, or salsa dancing or are looking forward to swimming in the heated pool or walking on the treadmill, now is the perfect opportunity to challenge yourself. Your new activity may even turn into your favorite winter exercise.
Unless you’re tuning in and working out with a fitness show, limit your downtime at the TV and computer. If you’re stuck indoors, get a jump on spring cleaning. (Remember, when the warm weather returns, you’ll want to be back outside, not cleaning the house.) Collect and recycle old clothes and used appliances that have been taking up space in your closets, and take care of the various household chores you’ve been putting off since the summer. An hour of housework burns about 200 calories; plus, this winter activity will give you a great sense of accomplishment.