Keeping fit, even when it's cold out


Currently, it's 24 degrees outside, and I'm definitely catching myself more and more saying, "If only it were warmer out..." If I had to venture a guess, one big killer of new years resolutions to get in shape end up failing because, lets be honest, most the interesting activities that keep us active are outdoor ones. Softball, bicycling, and for the most part, even running are all outdoors. So what are some great ways to get and stay active in the middle of winter without breaking the bank?

Start with the basics.

  • Sit ups and pushups - No one really loves them, but sit ups and pushups have been around forever and both keeps your body working some of the muscles you don't typically use as much as you should.
  • Jump rope - Make fun of this all you want, but you can get a decent Lift weights ump rope for the price of one or two fast food meals. The calories you burn jumping rope are pretty high and will definitely get your heart rate going.
  • Lifting weights - These are one of the essentials for any home gym. They aren't too expensive, and with just one set of weights, you can do a variety of exercises.
  • Punching bag - This one probably isn't as conventional, but it walks a great line between cardio and strength training. If you need it, it's a great way to get out some frustrations, and it keeps you moving around enough that I promise you will never get bored with it.

Maybe these just aren't what you're looking for... Maybe you still want to get out and find some more sociable ways to keep active. You can always join a gym, but odds are if working out at home isn't too exciting, changing the location won't change the excitement levels either.

Indoor sports are always a great way to workout. They're sociable too, so you won't notice the workout as much, and you ad a focus and competitive edge that'll help you push yourself even harder.

  • Indoor soccer - People can make jokes about soccer all they want, until you've tried keeping up with a full game, you've got no room to talk, and especially indoor soccer since the ball is always in play. This one will push you on speed and endurance more than you'd expect it to. This one takes a lot of people, but there are usually a lot of local leagues out there you can join.
  • Wallyball - This is a favorite of mine. If you've got a regular group of six or more, it can get pretty competitive. this doesn't get you running laps, but you've really got to be able to move fast in a second. It'll push you more than you expect it to, and likely leave you feeling pretty banged up after the first few games, but you'll love it. There's never a dull moment with this sport.

Finally, it's cold out... Why not embrace it? Skiiing and snowboarding will give you a surprising workout depending how much you want to challenge yourself. Even though you're essentially gliding downhill, you need to be able to keep your form and manuever through just about anything. A day of either will leave you feeling pretty wiped out and feeling like you had a solid workout the following day. The really great thing about these two are, you can do them as a social event or an individual event depending what you prefer.

So there are a few great suggestions for keeping fit durring the winter, what are your favorite ways to keep active when it's cold out?