With the freezing cold air and piles of snow everywhere, it can be hard to get your recommended daily amount of exercise during the winter, even if you have a membership at the fanciest gym in town. Fighting the post-holiday crowds, dealing with dangerous roads, bundling up from head to toe—it doesn’t sound too appealing. At the same time, with things chilling out and our New Year’s resolutions in full swing, wintertime is one of the most motivating times of the year.
So what’s the solution to this conundrum? Do your winter workouts at home, of course! Using your home fitness equipment or just your own body weight, here are some of our favorites to get you warmed up even on the chilliest winter days.
- Push-Ups—Ah, the humble push-up. It requires no fancy machines, no electricity and no extra space. Yet the traditional push-up is a seriously underrated exercise, bringing strength to the triceps, pecs, shoulders, back and core. Do a few reps a day for best results.
- Bicep Curls—Now’s the time to invest in that set of dumbbells or kettlebells you’ve been eyeing! This is another super-simple exercise that does wonders for conditioning your upper body. And you can do it anywhere, even when you’re binge-watching Netflix.
- Jogging—If you’re a runner (or want to be a runner), you know that few exercises can substitute for a good, hard jog. But the slippery road conditions and lip-chapping air just aren’t ideal for running in the winter. But you can bring it inside with a treadmill. You’ll be surprised to find how versatile and affordable home treadmills can be!
- Jump Roping—Jumping rope is one of the best year-round exercises because it burns off serious energy—more than 10 calories a minute, to be exact—yet can be done anywhere. Mastering different tricks, like double-leg jumps, will help keep things exciting.
- Yoga—With so many excellent yoga channels on YouTube, it’s easy to turn the wintertime into the season of at-home yoga. All you need is a yoga mat and your TV, smartphone or tablet, and you’ll learn the basics in no time. In the spring and summer, when it’s more mild out, you can perfect your asanas in a professional yoga studio.
- Zumba—Dance your way to weight loss! Zumba is the Latin pop dance exercise that combines upbeat salsa, flamenco, merengue and hip-hop choreography with fast-paced, synced music for a super-fun workout, which you can do online or with DVDs. Side note: You can burn up to 900 calories in a single Zumba class!
- Hip-Hop Dancing—Another amazing way to burn calories and have fun at the same time is to learn hip-hop dances on YouTube. There you’ll find thousands of dance tutorials teaching all the biggest crazes, from Single Ladies to the Dougie.
- Burpees—The burpee, otherwise known as a squat thrust, is a four-step exercise that works out the entire body, including the shoulders, chest, core, butt and triceps. Plus, since it takes you through a jumping motion, it also serves as an excellent form of cardio.
- Planks—If your goal is to strengthen the core—one of the hardest areas of the body to work out—then you’ve got to do some planks. This exercise requires you to hold yourself in a stiff, balanced position, engaging dozens of muscles at the same time.
- Crunches—Don’t discount good old-fashioned crunches! These versatile exercises help engage the core and strengthen the abs while also building strength in the lower back. We recommend using an exercise ball as you crunch to take your exercise up a notch. The balancing motion engages more muscles, while the ball can help prevent back pain.
Getting into a Routine
The hardest part about any exercise regimen isn’t the exercises themselves, but the part about sticking to a routine. Try your best to do everything you can to get into the groove and stay in it, and you’ll be ready for spring and summer in no time. As long as you have the motivation, the tools and the exercises to keep you engaged, you’ll be well on your way to a physically fit new version of yourself as the snow melts.