Top 6 Winter Workout Ideas

The winter months will make you want to move a little less and stay inside, so it’s essential to keep moving during these months.

5 min read

Health & Wellness

Top 6 Winter Workout Ideas

Winter officially begins on December 21st. Depending on your location, some of you might feel like you’ve already been in full swing of winter for a couple of months. Regardless of where you’re located, it’s starting to get chilly out, even here in the sunshine state of California.

Many people experience lower activity levels in winter. (1) According to the Journal of Sports & Health Science, 43.9% of people are likely to delay exercise in winter compared to summer, which was 51.8%. (1) Individuals who listed “rain” as the adverse weather condition were 3.49 times more likely to delay exercising compared to “heat” as the adverse weather condition, and those who listed “ice” and “snow” were more likely to delay exercise compared to those who were just concerned with the cold. (1)


Essential Keys to Keep in Mind for the Wintertime

As we are all aware, winter comes with a bit of baggage. The temperature decreases significantly; the holidays make a justifiable caloric increase of all our favorite holiday comfort treats, and the days become shorter. Not to mention the stress that comes with the severe financial expenditure we must partake in to make our loved ones happy. Sprinkle in a dash of “seasonal depression,” and it’s a prime recipe for disaster.

Within ANY fitness regimen, it’s always important to change the expectations your circumstances might face. This is especially true during the winter months. To expect the same energy output from yourself for working out during the winter months that you might have during the spring & summer months will do you more harm than good.


Winter Goals

Your main goal during the winter months should be to keep your energy levels up by managing your sleep, exercise, and diet. If you increase your sleep and your diet to the best you can, that will help give you that extra energy oomph to keep driving you to be active. The winter months will make you want to move a little less and stay inside, so it’s essential to understand how to manage your health during these months.


My Top 6 Winter Workout Ideas

With the always-changing weather during the winter months, you must adapt to what mother nature has for you on any given day. So, I put together six of my top “Winter Workouts.” They include both indoor activities and, yes, even outdoor activities. Keep in mind that these activities aren’t in any specific order:


1. Going for a Brisk Stroll or Brisk Power Walk

It’s simple & it’s cheap, but it can deliver a haymaker of fitness gains. Not only is walking great work for your lower body muscles, but it also has a lower impact on your joints. Did I mention that it also helps with improving cardiovascular fitness? This activity can be done just about anywhere at any given time. Just make sure that if you do go out for a walk, you’re dressed weather appropriately.

2. Cross Country Skiing

Cross Country Skiing has traditions extending back to the mid-19th century. (3) It is widely accepted in exercise physiology as “the best cardiovascular exercise known.” It also uses a large percentage of your muscle mass and is more efficient and effective than activities using legs alone or arms alone. This activity increases kinesthetic sense, helps increase balance, improves visual acuity, increases cardiovascular and cardiac output, and has a low impact on the joints. (2)

man skiing in winter 


3. Snowshoeing

Brisk strolls & power walks are great, but what if the streets are covered in snow? No need to worry; snowshoeing is here to save the day! It’s here to help you walk on top of the snow rather than sink into it. It’s also a great way to explore snow-covered parks or hiking trails. Low-impact and suitable for all ages and fitness levels, raising your heart rate and working your lower body while targeting your glutes, calves, hip abductors, quads, hamstrings, and core.

4. Skiing

Skiing can be intense or moderate, depending on your skill level. It helps improve flexibility, builds your core muscles, and works your legs. According to a review published in 2018 in the Journal Frontiers in Physiology, downhill skiing increases leg muscle strength, promotes healthy aging, and improves musculoskeletal and postural functioning.

5. Yoga

Notice your hip flexor muscles and hamstrings tightening up more than usual during the winter months? This is a common theme because we spend more time sitting inside during those colder months than the rest of the year. Yoga promotes strength, mobility, and flexibility, which can help counteract immobility. One of the best things about yoga, especially for those that live in the chillier states, is that it’s indoors.

6. Calisthenics

Too cold to go outside for some aerobic work? Don’t worry, there’s a way to get your aerobic work in and all from the comfort of your own home. Introducing calisthenics, a systematic rhythmic bodily exercise usually performed without apparatus, also known as bodyweight exercises. This is a great way to increase your resting metabolic rate and enhance and develop muscular and aerobic endurance. This includes activities such as the push-up, crunches, leg lifts, planks, squats, lunges, chair dips, and calf raises (to name a few).

man doing push up


Winter Workout Conclusion

Staying motivated during the winter months can be challenging (for myself included). There is a plethora of excuses that we can make not to work out or stay active during this span. We have the holidays, wet and chilly snowy weather, and shorter days of sunlight. Even if you don’t want to go outside, there are workouts that you can do all from your own warm and cozy home.
In all honesty, chances are the frequency you are working out will probably be reduced (like everyone all over the world, including me again) due to all the reasons I’ve mentioned above and even more. Make sure, if that does happen, that the intensity of how you work out doesn’t change. As Albert Einstein once said, “Nothing happens until something moves.” So, get moving!


>(1) How to Stay Active in the Winter- 3 Pillars for Success, Journal. 2022. Accessed 1 December, 2022
(2) Top 10 Reasons Cross country Skiing is Good For You, Journal, 2021. Accessed 1 December, 2022
(3) The Evolution of Champion Cross-Country-Skier Training: From Lumberjacks to Professional Athletes, Journal. 2016. Accessed 1 December, 2022



Top 6 Winter Workout Ideas infographic



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1 comment


Excellent article!!!