Don’t Let Cooler Weather Disrupt Your Exercise Routine

Sarah Moore Impact Mill Contributor
yoga

When the weather turns cooler, exercising is no longer as easy as just lacing up your shoes and heading outside. And considering how important exercise is to your long-term health, it can suck when the nice weather is suddenly snatched away by Old Man Winter leaving you with mostly boring indoor options for staying active.

Time get creative.

Unfortunately, “getting creative” often translates to buying an expensive gym membership or jumping on Amazon and ordering multiple fancy new exercise toys. That’s too spendy for most of us, and it’s also environmentally irresponsible to order a bunch of gear you’re not sure you’ll use. Instead, it’s time to truly get creative, crafting an exercise plan that will take you through the cold weather…and beyond! Yes, that was supposed to be read in your best Buzz Lightyear voice. Deal with it.

The 7-Minute Workout

Perhaps you’ve heard of the 7-minute workout? This amazing combination of exercises takes only 7 minutes but sculpts your body like you wouldn’t believe. Combining various exercises for maximum muscle-building effect, the 7-minute workout can be done without equipment of any kind, anywhere indoors and out, and pretty much while wearing anything…though I do not recommend a bathrobe. That’s just what I’ve heard though. From other people. Definitely not from personal experience…

Get Your Yoga On

yoga

Don’t let winter weather get you down. Yoga can be done just about anywhere | image: CHeitz/Flickr

Looking for gentle yet super effective exercise? You can’t do better than yoga. As compared to walking, which only burns about 240 calories an hour, a power yoga routine burns about 340. My favorite guru is yoga cutie Adriene, who puts up tons of online videos and has issued several month-long challenge series. These are nice because you can twist yourself into a pretzel in the comfort of your own home without a pricey studio membership. Of course, if you’ve got the funds, Bikram yoga is an awesome way to go, too.

Dance Like Nobody’s Watching

I’m not kidding about this one. Sometimes my workout for the day actually is dancing like nobody’s watching, for 20 to 30 minutes. It will make you sweat, no doubt about it. And since you’re skipping the boozy cocktails that come with a night out at the club, you’re guaranteed to be burning calories rather than imbibing them.

Take the Stairs

Who needs a StairMaster when you have actual stairs? Yes, I really do run up the stairs at my house. It’s an excellent workout, especially if you do 10-15 reps before some isometric exercises. However, there are several caveats to stairs. Make sure you wear shoes so you don’t slip. Don’t continue if your muscles get wobbly from several reps, and don’t run stairs early in the morning when you’re still groggy. Falling down the stairs is never a great way to start your day. Used safely, though, stairs are an amazing fitness trick.

A Note on Exercise Equipment

I wouldn’t want to leave you thinking that I’m totally anti-gear. To the contrary: A few good pieces of exercise equipment can make all the difference in your health during the colder months. Personally, I routinely use my yoga mat and yoga towel, as well as a set of 5-pound free weights and a few resistance bands. These basic pieces keep me plenty sweaty and toned all year round.

See? No need to buy a bunch of fancy machines. Instead, you can institute a cold-weather workout routine that keeps you fit even when you can’t go outside.

Sarah Moore is an Impact Mill contributor and freelance writer who focuses on sustainability, local food, and the weirder side of science. In her spare time she enjoys writing fiction, running, and cooking. Sarah lives in Portland, Oregon, with her husband, two children, two dogs, and an unshakable colony of June bugs.