The beginning of fall is the start of cute sweaters, lots of food, parties, and festivities. It is also the beginning of a lot of chaos and busy schedules, and hibernation, leaving no time or care to stay fit. Heck, who wouldn’t blame anyone for just wanting to cozy up after work with a soft warm blanket with some hot cocoa and binge watch some tv? I love doing this myself, but also know I need to keep at it all winter long.
There are zero and I mean zero excuses to not be fit when it’s cold out. I don’t want to hear a gym costs money, I can’t go outside to walk or run because it is dark out, or I have no time because of holiday parties. There are so many things you can do during these cold months to stay fit and in shape, especially when we are definitely getting our grub on!
Years ago I enjoyed running outside, well only when it was nice out. When fall came around, I stopped running because it was too cold, I was too lazy, and just too much going on. When the holidays were over, I would start-up again, but what I wasn’t looking forward to was having wobbly and jiggly legs for the next week from being sore!
We can probably all agree that the worst thing after working out is how difficult it can be just to go pee! And if you’re anything like me, we drink a lot, and pee a lot. Some of the easiest tasks in our daily life become the hardest, just reaching for food, or getting in and out of our cars, sitting down, and so on. I noticed a lot of people fall off the fitness bandwagon after their first workout because they are so sore and it turns them off for good almost.
So let’s not fall off the band wagon this year and stay fit all year-long! Here are a couple of tips to help you survive through winter, with minimal time, fun outside activities and free or cheap!
1.Exercise at work. When the holidays roll around, we can be pretty busy after the work day! So why not get in some exercise during work and on work breaks!? Set alarms a reminder on your computer or phone to get up every hour (I have mine set up in my work calendar so I see them when they pop up). Get up and stretch or go for a short walk, switching it up each hour! It seems like nothing, but I started doing this every hour just to wake myself up. Then I strapped a pedometer to myself and it showed that I was actually getting in 3,000 steps extra just by getting up every hour. Check out my other posts for ways to get fit at work.
2. T.V. workouts. This is probably one of my favorite ways to get in some extra activity for my day when it is cold and crummy out. A lot of us like to come home, cook up a warm meal, and sit down to binge watch some t.v., I mean it is a pretty amazing end to a work day! But an even better end to this day would to get in some activity! Personally, I feel kind of bad and guilty when I skip working out and ate some extra treats for the day. The best way to get in some exercise while not missing your favorite show is to do a couple reps during commercials and if you’re really ambitious, during your show! During commercials, you usually have about 2 to 3 minutes, so instead of getting up and grabbing for more chips, do a 2 minute routine, check out some here. And to get even more of a workout in, squat or plank for 10 seconds, then increase to longer and longer. Do 10 push ups, then 20 and so on…Do repetitions of different positions throughout your whole show and break for commercials instead! Check out the fitness page for more great commercial workouts.
3. Purchase workout videos. Even if you are on a budget, you can still purchase workout videos! Go to your local thrift store, there are always tons of different workout videos there, and usually for only a dollar or two. I have personally done this because I like to switch up my workout routine each week without spending a fortune. Working out at home is a great way to stay out of the cold, avoid gym membership fees, and not have to drive in sloppy weather, PLUS it is done all on your own time! There are so many workout videos for sale online now, you just have to figure out what you are going for. If you are constrained for time, look for 30 minute videos, I love the Fe Fit series! Her videos are 30 minutes, cover every part of the body, and she has quite a variety on her 90 day package, so it’s never the same routine! If you’re like me and don’t always like to be sweaty or work hard on a Monday, check out some 30 minute Yoga dvds.
Here of some of my favorite outside things to do on the weekends that are extremely fun, festive, and includes exercise!
4. Winter sports (snowshoeing, snowboarding, sledding, skiing). When there is snow on the ground, there is no excuse! If you don’t already do any of these activities, maybe pick up a new sport this winter! If you have children, take them sledding and participate with them! This means walking up and down that ferocious hill with them. You will get in a ton of walking for the day, while enjoying spending time with them. Sledding doesn’t have to be just for kids, find some friends or family members, even if you are all adults, and go sledding together! It is a blast and definitely a good workout.
Maybe sledding doesn’t interest you, then look into getting a pair of snowshoes, a snowboard, or a set of skis. These are all awesome snowy activities, that are rewarding, as well as another great workout at the end of the day. You use so many different muscle to control each aspect of these activities.
5. Holiday festivals. Holiday festivals just make me smile! Maybe you’re thinking, how can this be exercise? Well just think about how much you really walk during these outdoor festivals. Wear a pedometer, go to a festival, and check it when you get home! You may be surprised how much walking you actually do at these festivals all while exercising. This is an exercise that the whole family can go to and enjoy together, while all of you are being fit. Check out your local listings for events and holiday fairs to attend.
6. Holiday light events. This is another awesome workout that you won’t even realize how much exercise you have just done and it can be done at night! Check your local events for neighborhoods or places that have walking light shows. Take the little ones with you, your dogs, and the whole family and go for a walk to view all the spectacular lights. Everyone will enjoy the light show together and I promise you will reach your goal for steps for that day! The thing is, you can go do this many times a week or even find other neighbors to walk in.
7. Hikes on paved or shoveled trails. If you have time during the short amount of light hours that we have, go for a hike! Maybe you live where it snows? Check out any local trails that are paved and shoveled when it snows. These fall and winter hikes can be some of the best and most beautiful times to go for a hike. Again, this can be fun for the whole family, even the furbabies! The colors of the leaves changing are just gorgeous! And when the snow falls, sitting on the empty tree branches, it is even more gorgeous.
8. Watch your portions. Whether you are going to a holiday party or sitting at home binge watching tv, watch the portions! These holiday parties are filled with sooo many yummy treats, that it can be hard to resist going back for seconds or indulging on a handful of candies. Try taking just one serving of that holiday goodness. If you find yourself craving a second helping of some cookies, turkey, or biscuits, drop it! Instead gulp down a glass of water, or brush your teeth, or swish with some mouth wash. Doing either of those three things or all of them, can definitely wipe out that desire to grab a second helping!