Photo By: Dusan Petkovic/Shutterstock.com

Winter is when we all like to get a little lazy with our fitness. Despite it being gross out, there are still some ways to be mindful of your physical health during the cold months of the year. Let’s look at some of those:

Running & Walking

Running is always a safe bet for staying in shape during the winter months, just be careful of ice. If you are new to running, click here for some tips to help get started. 

Running in the winter is a great opportunity because the air is a little crisper and it really strengthens your mental fortitude if you can brave the gross conditions and have freezing wind hitting your face as your multiple layers of clothing make you feel like you’re in a straitjacket. A major benefit to running in the winter months is that when you’re cold your body burns more fat to keep you warm in a process called non-shivering thermogenesis which means more calories being burned overall.

In addition, and it might seem unorthodox, walking is a great choice for staying in shape in the winter. On top of that interesting tip mentioned above about how our bodies warm us up via our fat, walking in the winter tends to be pretty tough, especially if there’s a decent amount of snow. It can be quite the workout with the right brutal conditions out, so now you have a reason to be excited when we get 30cm of snow.

Home gym

You don’t need a literal home gym to turn your home or apartment into a kind of gym (you might annoy your housemates though). There’s tons of inventive ways to use the space in a house for exercising. For example, using the 90 degree angle of a kitchen countertop or sturdy desk to do dips, and that’s just scratching the surface. If you have the means, purchasing a resistance band opens up multiple new avenues of training from the comfort of home. Calisthenics — a.k.a body weight exercises — are another great option for at home workouts, and things like low tables and couches provide opportunities to play around with elevation for things like push ups or planks. If you’re not used to resistance training, check out this guide for some basic tips to get started from the comfort of your own home. 

It also doesn’t have to be just resistance training, yoga is a great option for getting some exercise at home because it requires very little space. Brock University’s liaison librarian has some excellent yoga videos and tips online, some tailored specifically for students too. 

Joining a gym or sport

Again, if you have the means, using the cold weather as a motivator to finally join a gym or organized sports league could be a great way to combat winter blues and isolation. A lot of people find the idea of joining any kind of fitness organization to be daunting, and that’s fair. Working out with people and creating friend groups who have similar goals as you or who you can have fun with is important, as it can help to shake off the all too cold (no pun intended) and calculated attitude towards fitness that so many have, which can be the best way to get yourself to actually want to go to the gym the next day. 

Disclaimer: The content of this article is provided for general information purposes only and does not constitute professional advice or an opinion of any kind. Readers are advised to seek professional advice from a trained expert regarding any specific questions they may have about exercise or any related activity.