Minnesotans are known for taking maximum advantage of the outdoors when the weather cooperates. When it doesn’t, though, we take advantage of the indoors, staying active and strong through the winter months. Here are some great ways to exercise through the colder months—some from the warmth of your own home.
Is Running Your Thing?
Since running trails may be covered in ice, running indoors on a treadmill will not only keep up your stamina and your pace, it can also offer different challenges for the body. Try speed workouts on the treadmill, as the machine keeps you from unwittingly slowing down. Or try uphill training by using the incline settings, which not only prepares you for those summer hills, it uses leg muscles differently than flat runs do.
Winter can be a great time to move indoors and tone up with strength training. Circuit training builds up muscular endurance and can be done easily at home with minimal to no equipment. Plus, they’re time efficient! Design your own circuits using any combination of moves (follow this how-to guide to cover all your bases), including squats, push-ups, pull-ups, core exercises, jumps, and shoulder presses. There are hundreds of moves to choose from, and you can do most of them with no more than a set of dumbbells.
If you have a gym membership or have access to community-based fitness classes, try out group fitness. To start, try a class that seems challenging or fun to you. Many group fitness classes are taught by personal trainers, which means you’re getting top-notch instruction without the higher price tag of personal sessions. At the worst, it will expose you to something new and you can go on with your normal workouts. At the best, it will work your body in new ways, push you where you wouldn’t go yourself, and become a weekly (or even daily) part of your routine.
Spinning, Swimming, and Yoga
Our local area is packed with facilities that offer indoor lap swim, water aerobics, spinning classes, indoor stationary bikes, and yoga. Whether it’s a hotel gym, a fitness facility in your building, or a beautiful yoga center, you simply have to seek them out and get moving.
No Equipment or Membership Required
If you don’t have a gym membership or don’t want to go purchasing lots of home gym equipment, there are ways to stay active through the winter. Queue up any number of YouTube fitness videos, ranging from easy beginner to advanced choreographed masterpieces. Indoor walking can be done at the local mall or the Whitney Center walking track or Sartell Community Center walking track. For those days when the roads are clear and the sun is shining, put on a scarf and get back outside for a brisk walk. It all counts!
Don’t let your strength or activity level falter just because it’s cold outside. Try something new or bring your outdoor workout inside. Your summer body will thank you!