10 Workouts for Cold Weather

Featured Article, Fitness
on January 2, 2015
winter workouts

A new study in the American Journal of Public Health shows that people in cold climates are more likely to be obese. One reason: they don’t get out and exercise when temps start to fall. We asked Jimmy Minardi, personal trainer at Minardi Training in NYC, for 10 ways to fit in exercise, no matter what it’s doing outside.

Go to a park

Try an incline press to strengthen triceps, shoulders and biceps. Find a fence post and lean against it (hands on the fence, feet on the ground). Perform 10 pushups (keep wrists directly under shoulders and back flat) and 10 “spade” pushups (move hands together so your thumb and index fingers touch).

Drop down in your yard

Mountain climbers activate ab muscles and boost cardiovascular strength. To do, place hands on the ground (wear mittens to protect hands if you’re outside!), slightly wider than shoulder width. Start out with one leg forward bent under your body, other leg extended back. Jump to switch feet. Perform two sets of 30.

Jump, jump

“Jumping jacks are the most underrated full-body workout on the planet,” says Minardi. Perform 30 regular jumping jacks. Then, do 30 deep squat jacks: jump to feet wide, move into a deep squat, stand back up and jump to starting position, repeat.

Head to a playground

Use the outdoor gym equipment to break a sweat, says Minardi. Try the monkey bars or walk on the balance beam.

Shovel snow

Your driveway has to get cleared somehow, right? Rather than viewing it as a dreaded chore, think about it as a calorie-torching one. A half-hour burns around 200 calories.

Move indoors

Sometimes it’s too cold to go outside. In that case, fit in a quickie living room workout: do two or three rounds of jumping jacks, sit-ups, walking lunges, and pushups. (Beginners: it’s okay to drop down to your knees).

Play more

Enjoyable winter activities like cross-country skiing, ice skating, or snowshoeing are powerful aerobic workouts (just don’t overdo it if you’re new to the activity)—and they feel more like play than exercise.

Walk it out

Rather than walking on shoveled sidewalks, hoof it in the snow. The added resistance from the snow increases intensity by 30 percent, says Minardi. And yes, that means more calories burned.

Head to a snow hill

While the neighborhood kids might love the hill for winter sledding, trekking up and down the show-covered hill a few times will fully engage muscles and provide a killer cardio workout. Because of the bigger effort thanks to the incline and snow, you can do shorter workouts (and spend less time outside).

Have fun!

It’s the best tip on this list, says Minardi. “You’ll stick to a routine if you truly enjoy what you’re doing,” So make sure you’re having fun with your workout. Go outside and do something you enjoy like a weekend hike or 20-minute walk. That’s the key to staying motivated and healthy all year long.