The colder it gets the more likely we are to stay indoors and cuddle up near the fire with a cup of hot chocolate … wait, not so fast! There are tons of ways to keep fit in the cold weather that can be beneficial as well as fun.

Find a Cold Weather Workout

Baby, it is cold outside and we like it.  Now is the perfect time to take an ice-skating or ice hockey class at your nearby ice rink.  You might find a passion you never knew existed.  It’s snowing so head outside with friends and family for a snow shoe excursion. Take in the beautiful landscapes with a cross-country ski jaunt.  Both are great ways to view the area you live in day or night.  Sledding can be a good source of exercise as you walk, run or race up the hills to sled back down. It gets your heart rate up and is fun too.  A whole hour can go by with these activities before you even realize it.

Indoor Fun

January is the most popular month to join a gym.  Fitness centers offer many options when it comes to exercise and exceptional deals abound that will help you get through the winter months.  Your local shopping mall is a free and warm way to get in a daily walk.  Many malls have walking groups and even fitness instructors that can lead you in a walk or jog around the place.  In the cold months it can be easy to forget all the ways to stay active.  Take up indoor climbing or pick up a new sport like basketball, squash, soccer or even volleyball.  Looking local can uncover a whole new world of workouts and circle of friends.

Stay Motivated

It is easy to use the cold weather as an excuse not to exercise.  Staying close to home when you work out can help keep you on track.  A gym that is close to your house or office will keep you from skipping out of your exercise time.  Train with a friend or partner to keep you in line and in touch with your fitness goals. Make plans to meet at the gym or outside for a run to make sure you hold yourself accountable.  Setbacks will occur but don’t let them create a pattern of not exercising.  Don’t give up, just start again.  Put your clothes out the night before and set the alarm.  In the morning get out and get to it.  Once you are active it will be easier to keep going.

Remember that working out in the winter can also help you avoid Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).  By getting out in the sun and fresh air and staying active whether it is at the gym, home or outside you are helping to boost your serotonin levels. This helps keep your brain and your body strong during the long winter months.