Once the leaves fall off the trees and the days get shorter, it can be tempting to hole up in your apartment under a blanket and wait until spring. But just because it’s cold outside doesn’t mean you can put your fitness on hold. It is possible to maintain an active lifestyle in the winter, even if you aren’t a fan of chilly temperatures, and here’s how.
The first thing to remember: Many healthy outdoor activities are just as, if not more enjoyable in the winter than they are in the warmer months. Without leaves on the trees, the views from hikes become much more expansive and impressive, and trails and parks have fewer walkers, runners, and bikers on them, leaving more space and fewer distractions. The key is dressing so that you aren’t bothered by the cold. Layers, hats, gloves, and scarves will make you comfortable and maybe even warm on sunny days, especially if you can get out on the weekends during the warmest hours in the middle of the day.
Some winter-specific activities will double as an opportunity to socialize, like ice-skating or snowshoeing. Seek these out in your city!
If you’re opposed to being outside on days you can see your breath, take advantage of your property’s healthy amenities, like the fitness center or free group fitness classes offered by Power For Life Fitness. You can also use the building, walking up and down the stairs or the hallways to get your cardio in or completing workouts in your apartment.
When you exercise outdoors in the winter, warming up and stretching become more important. Cold means your muscles are tighter, so your risk of injury increases if you aren’t warming up before starting or stretching enough when you’re done. If you drive to a hike, make sure you complete a few stretches before you head home—climbing right into the car and then sitting still for an extended period can cause your muscles to tighten up, increasing soreness and injury risk.