Man, the winter weather can get pretty darn chilly in many parts of the country. Sure, the folks in California and Arizona have got it good, but for anyone in the North of the country, the weather outdoors can be pretty rough.
If you're a runner, a cyclist, or an athlete, the winter may just be too cold for you to be able to safely and comfortably train outside. The chill will make it darn hard for you to get in shape, so you're going to have to find an alternative. So we've put together the five best workouts to do this winter.
1. Hit the Gym
Yes, you may have wanted to put this off, but it's time to buckle down and sign up for a gym membership--at least during the winter months when it's too cold to be outside. You can still run or cycle in the gym, but now you can add some weights to your routine.
Dancing is a wonderful way to not only get in a good round of cardio, but it can also tone the rest of your body. Pole fitness has become hugely popular, and you can bet your man will love it when you show him the skills you've learned over winter. You can sign up for fast-paced ballroom dancing, hip-hop/crumping, break-dancing, or even ballet (one of the best workouts for your legs). You'll spend the winter months indoors, working up a sweat away from the cold.
You may have vowed never to do the slow, boring types of yoga, but why not look for Power Yoga or Bikram Yoga classes? These types of yoga are a bit more fast-paced, and they'll help you to use muscles you didn't even know you had. By the end of winter, you can say goodbye to those muscle and joint aches.
4. Martial Arts
If you're a runner, you probably have a good amount of endurance. What better way to test it than to put on a pair of gloves and smack away at an opponent. Martial arts and boxing lessons are amazing exercise, and they'll help you be lighter on your feet. Not only can they be a whole lot of fun--not to mention useful--but they're a great way to improve your cardio endurance.
Look around for an indoor pool, and you can try aqua aerobics--the fast paced kind, not the one for seniors--or you can work with a trainer. You'll be amazed by how strong your arms, shoulders, and legs get over the autumn and winter months, and you'll be warm and toasty in the heated indoor swimming pool.
Safe Outdoor Training
If you're a stubborn one that still wants to train outdoors, here's how to do it safely:
Bundle up. Being hot while running won't kill you, but getting a chill after your workout could. Wear layers to protect your hard-working body.
Keep your ears, feet, and hands well protected. Training hard reduces blood flow to these extremities, so keep them warm for their sake.
Know when it's too cold. If you take the winter chill and add the wind factor, you could end up suffering from hypothermia. It may just be time to say "No" to outdoor workouts.
Drink up. You're more likely to become dehydrated, as the cold dries out your mouth quickly.
Plan your route wisely. Head into the wind at the beginning, making it easier for you to get home with the wind at your back when you're tired and ready to quit.
Some people get lucky and are born with fit, toned bodies. Andy Peloquin is not one of those people... Fitness has come hard for him, and he's had to work for it. His trials have led him to becoming a martial artist, an NFPT-certified fitness trainer, and a man passionate about exercise, diet and healthy living. He loves to exercise--he does so six days a week--and loves to share his passion for fitness and health with others.