The days are shorter. The temperatures are colder. The sidewalks are coated in a slippery layer of ice that derails your footing almost as quickly as your wintry motivation. Why do we make annual resolutions when it seems the most difficult to accomplish them?
Fortunately, staying fit in the winter is not an impossible mission! In fact, with the right mindset, cold-weather activity can be fun while helping you ward off those winter blues. Here’s some tips.
PLAY IN THE SNOW
The notion of slogging away on a treadmill isn’t appealing. After all, we can only stare at the hamster wheel for so long before we feel our eyes roll back in our head with sheer boredom. Why not change it up a bit? Pull on some snowpants, grab some mittens and head outside for a good old-fashion romp in the snow! Build a snowman, have a snowball fight or go sledding. If you’re more athletically inclined, snag some snowshoes or take up skiing. Either way, you’ll have so much fun you’ll barely remember that you’re improving upon your health.
The old adage is true: cotton kills. Or, at minimum, it will definitely make you miserable!
Layering your clothing according to your activity is the best way to ensure your comfort while exercising outside. Cotton tends to hold onto moisture, leaving you—and your clothes—cold and wet. Instead, reach for a wicking baselayer that will repel the sweat away from your skin. Add an insulating layer to keep you warm followed by a shell to protect you from the elements. Voila! You’ll be toasty, dry and ready to tackle your next outdoor trail run.
TRY SOMETHING NEW
Perhaps you’ve considered learning yoga for years, but never made the leap. Or maybe you always workout in the morning but the darkness is stealing your ability to move. Change up your routine! Sign up for those yoga classes or switch your scheduled sweat sessions to the evening hours. The routine shake-up may spice things up enough to keep you interested.
EMBRACE THE COLD
If all else fails, remember that winter is a beautiful season. There is no other time of year where the earth is covered in a pristine layer such as snow, virtually erasing all the markings of the remaining months. Enjoy the wintry chill, stay positive and keep your future fitness goals in mind. After all, those warm months will be here before you know it!
Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.
Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph.