How can I exercise in the winter?

Consider these calorie-burning indoor activities when it's just too cold to be outside:
  • Walk your local mall.
  • Take the stairs whenever possible.
  • At work, walk around your building's hallways during your lunch or coffee break.
  • Watch and follow an exercise video or DVD rather than a movie.
  • Don't wait for spring for a thorough house cleaning. Wash the inside of your windows, vacuum or shampoo the carpet or clean out your closets.
Cold weather doesn't mean you have to say good-bye to all outdoor activities. Besides, why should kids have all of the fun in the winter? 
  • Build a snowman.
  • Have a snowball fight.
  • Go ice skating.
  • Go sledding.
  • Make snow angels.
Aim for a goal of 30 minutes of moderate activity most days of the week and you'll be on your way to keeping off winter weight gain.
By using less labor saving devices you can be active during the winter without going to the gym. Use a shovel instead of a snow blower to clear the sidewalk. Chop wood instead of purchasing it from the store.  If weather allows park further away from building when you go to work and you run errands. Use the stairs instead of elevators, do chores around your house instead of having others do it.  By increasing your activity in these small ways you can stay active and fit during the winter months
Dr. Michael Roizen, MD
Internal Medicine
Lack of time is only one excuse people use to avoid starting and sticking to a physical activity routine. Another is the weather. Many people begin an exercise regimen in the spring, work out in the summer, reach their fitness peak in the fall, and, then, as winter approaches, give up altogether. Then they start from scratch all over again the next spring. This disruption to the routine is completely unnecessary, since it's so easy to come up with alternatives to exercising outdoors. Joining a gym or a club or simply buying equipment for an at-home gym can fix this cause of unnecessary aging. Even shopping malls provide great indoor walking routes, as do hospital corridors. (As an aside, hospital corridors can certainly help remind you how important it is to do all you can to stay healthy.) More than 4 million Americans over sixty-five now mall-walk regularly to burn an average of 2,000 kcal a week. That makes their RealAge (physiologic age) as much as four years younger.

Find a sport you love that can be played indoors in the winter such as badminton, squash, or racquetball. You could swim in an indoor heated swimming pool. If you really prefer being outdoors but get stopped cold by winter, learn how to dress for the weather. The proper gear can mean the difference between suffering and enjoyment. The advances in exercise wear in the past ten years have produced new fabrics such as fleece and Lycra that make exercise clothing both warm and lightweight. To really make the most of the cold weather, learn a winter sport. There are few sports that provide the complete body workout of cross-country skiing. Ice-skating, downhill skiing, and snowshoeing are other fun sports that can turn those gray winter months into something you actually look forward to.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.