When the sun is shining and the weather is warm, it’s much easier to get outside for a run, hit up a yoga class, or stop by the gym to get in a workout. But when winter hits, chances are there are going to be more than a few days that are just going to be too cold, too snowy, too dreary, or even too dangerous to travel too far for your fitness routine.
Luckily, you don’t need to go to the gym, to a fitness class, or even outside to get a great winter workout. In fact, you already have everything you need to take care of your fitness all winter long—and you don’t even have to leave the house.
Let’s take a look at a few at-home exercise tips for days when winter weather keeps you away from your regular workouts:
Start on the stairs
If you already own fitness equipment (like kettlebells or hand weights), you can definitely incorporate them into your at-home exercise routine. But if you don’t, that’s not a problem! There are plenty of things in your house that can help you get a great workout—starting with your stairs.
Stairs are great for both cardio and resistance training. For cardio, try sprint intervals up and down the stairs. For resistance training, “You can do push-ups [on the stairs] if you cannot do them on the floor. That is a great way to progress on that exercise,” says Courtney Ross CFMP, CPT and founder of Moxie Fitness. “In that same position, you can do push-up planks—or you can do hand steps.”
Create space and eliminate distractions
One of the biggest challenges of working out at home? The sheer number of distractions. When you’re at home, it’s easy to get distracted by your to-do list, household chores, or Netflix—which is why having a dedicated space for workouts is so important.
Choose an area of your house that’s easily accessible but as far removed from your typical distractions as possible; ideally, it will be a place that’s visible but that you don’t associate with binge-watching TV, snacking, or any of the other at-home distractions that might keep you from a workout (like a spare bedroom).
“Keeping [your workout area] in plain sight…reduces barriers when you need to get a workout in and always has training on the top of your mind,” says Marco Walker-Ng, BHSc, PTS Co-founder of Outlift, Bony to Beastly, and Bony to Bombshell.
…or, make the distractions part of your workout
If the pull of household distractions is just too strong, like the old saying goes—if you can’t beat them, join them. “Instead of trying to separate chores and working out, combine them,” says Robert Lemus, editor of SimpleFitnessHub.com.
For example, is your laundry basket distractingly full? “When you do laundry, use the machine to do standing push-ups to tone your back, chest, and arms,” says Lemus. “Place your hands on the washer and bend towards it until your chest touches the machine. Repeat this 15-20 times.”
And it’s not just your chores you can transform into workouts; you can apply the same principle to any at-home distraction. Do sit-ups while you catch up on your Netflix queue. Do a quick circuit while your dinner is in the oven. Read your emails while doing a wall-sit in your office.
The point is, if you find there’s too many distractions at home to workout, you can actually turn those distractions into an opportunity for fitness.
Find the sweet spot between having a plan and switching things up
“For people who train at home, it is imperative to understand the value of following a plan and building a weekly routine that progresses over time. Simply doing the same 3 sets of 10 repetitions for weeks on end will get stale and boring,” says Jace Derwin, RSCC, CSCS, Head of Performance Training at Volt Athletics. “On the flip side, trying to randomly create a new workout each day is an exhausting experience- for both body and mind.”
If you want to be successful with your at-home workouts, it’s important to find the “sweet spot” between having a plan (for consistency) and switching things up (for novelty).
Derwin recommends having three set workouts (“Hard workouts with high intensity, using progressively heavier weights to increase strength; longer duration workouts with moderate intensity [where you] aim to use higher repetitions with lighter weights for more sets; [and]
easy workouts that are short and simple [where you] back off to a comfortable effort level and break a slight sweat,” says Derwin)—and then rotating between those workouts each day. Then, once you complete a cycle of all three workouts, go back to the beginning—but add more weight or reps to make it more challenging.
“This system keeps things varied but not at the expense of consistently developing more capacity and focused intention,” says Derwin.
Rock your at-home workouts all winter long
Winter weather can make it hard (or impossible!) to get out of the house for exercise. But with these at-home workout tips, you have everything you need to maintain your fitness and rock your workouts—no matter what kind of weather winter throws at you.
This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for medical diagnosis or treatment. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or condition. Always check with your doctor before changing your diet, altering your sleep habits, taking supplements, or starting a new fitness routine.