There is a chill in the air and the days of frolicking in the sun are tucked away until next spring. Some people turn to the gym over the colder months, some love being active in the cold, some vow to start exercising at home, and others just go on hiatus until it warms up.

It’s no secret, I don’t like working out in a gym. Especially not during the winter. There is nothing less appealing than changing in a freezing cold locker room, praying to start warming up ASAP while working out, and trying to keep any residual snow off of your socks in the process. Not to mention, a round trip to the gym always seems to take twice as long during the winter.

Instead of worrying about carving out an extra hour in your day, the trick is to embrace the season and begin to look for ways to sneak in exercise in smaller bursts. Here are some ideas to help:

  1. Give new meaning to the term “power shopping”– Hitting the mall in search of gifts? Start your trip with a couple of brisk laps before you begin your “real” shopping. By spending an extra 10 or 15 minutes, you can take in the store windows, prioritize your shopping plan and tack on some valuable calorie burning.
  2. Take the stairs whenever possible– At work, the mall or anywhere you can, always opt for the stairs instead of elevators or escalators. A similar trick is to make use of hills and inclines you come across and create a mini workout with them: Simply walk with a quick pace up the hill for a minute or two, then cool off by walking back down.
  3. Take a quick walk before dinner– If you have 10 or 15 minutes before dinner, why not get that heart rate going? You can lower your blood sugar levels and work up an appetite at the same time by taking a short, brisk walk.
  4. Play with the kids– Keep kids entertained and give yourself a short workout. Whether you play an organized sport or just make up a new game that requires physical activity, you can help teach kids good fitness habits and reap the benefits yourself.
  5. Start a new holiday tradition– Play a family-friendly tag football game on Thanksgiving Day, or take the group on a walk to view holiday lights instead of driving.
  6. Volunteer for chores– From raking leaves and mowing the grass, to shoveling snow and walking the dog, many daily activities have the potential to be valuable fat burning workouts. Look at it this way, every minute you spend shoveling snow, is one less minute you need to find time to workout in a gym.
  7. Create a 10 minute power workout— During this busy time of year, it’s more about making the most of the time you have. Take a few minutes right now to put together a 10-minute routine that you can pull out of your back pocket whenever you have the opportunity. Include exercises suitable for your level of activity. Options may include lower impact exercises such as windmills and side kicks, or more intense exercises, such as jumping jacks, crunches and push ups. Your routine should focus on a variety of muscle groups and strike a balance between cardio and strength training

Exercise is a huge part of self-care, so while you may not love it, it’s necessary. Plus chances are, there’s ways to stay active that you do love, you just may not have found it yet. If winter is the time you tend to let your personal maintenance slip to the wayside, I have the perfect gift for you. I created the I Love Me Challenge for crazy busy women who are always putting self-care to the bottom of their to-do list. It includes access to my VIP members site, daily bite-sized love notes, and challenge sheets guaranteed to get you back on track in 20 minutes of less each day.

How do you stay active during the colder months? Let me know in the comments below!


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