How to Create a Fun, Yet Effective Winter Workout Routine

By January 6, 2016Fitness
winter workout routine

Struggling to find a winter workout routine that gets you up and motivated to stay active? Here are three simple steps to finding a routine that you will love! 

winter workout routine

Hi, friends! Today, I’m welcoming Shelly to the blog who has a passion for writing about health and fitness. You are going to love her post on finding a winter workout routine you can actually look forward to (whether it’s freezing cold where you live or just so happens to be hovering around 65 degrees! Not that it is here or anything…). I’ll be back on Friday with a post about goal setting. Now, over to Shelly!

If you’re like a lot of people, colder weather outside makes you want to stay inside, and preferably on your couch with a blanket and cup of hot chocolate. Now, you might beat yourself up because of this, but rest assured, you might not be so lazy after all. There is a true biological reason that could be behind your lagging energy.

What am I talking about? Winter tiredness – a term that describes this annual fatigue that comes from shorter days that disrupts your sleep schedule. Exposure to less sunlight in a day increases your production of sleep-inducing melatonin and reduces your production of vitamin D, both of which can leave you feeling fatigued.

One way to get around feeling tired and “lazy” is to create a fun, yet effective, winter workout routine to keep you moving toward your fitness goals this time of year! So, how do you create workouts that you will actually look forward to?

Pick Activities You Enjoy

Remember when you were a kid and could play outside for hours and hours on end during the winter without getting tired? This is partly because you were engaged in activities you enjoyed so much that even though you were expending a lot of physical energy, it didn’t matter because you were having fun!

This winter, bring those same feelings back into your life by engaging in activities that make you want to keep going back for more. If you like to dance, what about grabbing a group of your closest pals and taking a class together? Or maybe it’s been years since you last skied and you’d like to get back on the slopes again? If the idea of it makes you smile, then it’s definitely a routine to consider.

Baby, it's cold outside! Check out these 3 tips for creating a fun, yet effective winter workout routine by clicking through. #fitness #workout

Think Variety

Any routine can feel boring and dull when you do it over and over again, which makes winter a great time to switch up your exercises. Plus, by adding variety to your workout regimen, you’ll build different muscles and bones, making this another great reason to mix things up a bit and spend the next few months doing something new.

Not sure what to switch to? How about exercise options that are typically only available this time of year, such as ice skating and snow shoeing? Or what about going outside your comfort zone and signing up at a different gym for the next few months just to get a change of scenery? Don’t be afraid to try something new. Who knows, you might find out that you love it!

Make it Work for YOU

This point is very important because the more you try to fit your life around your winter fitness routine versus your winter fitness routine around your life, the harder it is going to be to stay committed enough to do it. Therefore, you’re better off coming up with a program that works for your current lifestyle.

To do this, create a plan that takes into consideration all of your other obligations this time of year. For example, if you work until later at night during the winter, then maybe your workout should be in the morning? And if you don’t like being out on the roads with the ice and snow, then come up with exercises you can do without ever leaving home.

Perhaps College News says it best that “there is absolutely no one-size-fits-all approach to exercise.” Don’t worry so much about conforming your life to your exercise program—let it conform to you instead.

Do these three things and you’re well on your way to a winter program that you enjoy. You may even enjoy it so much that you’ll keep it around well into the spring!

Shelly Stinson is a freelance writer based out of Denver, CO. Her interests include healthy living, being active outdoors and trying new restaurants. Find her on twitter here!

So, tell us! How do you stay motivated to stay active during the winter?

Join the discussion 28 Comments

  • Chelsea says:

    This is so awesome. I’m in Green Bay (Wisconsin) and it’s SO hard for me to stay motivated during winter. I actually bought a weight set right before Christmas and have been keeping it in my living room. I never was a “home” workout person but I’ll admit, I’ve done a few reps here and there watching Netflix! I think that anything is better than nothing.
    Chelsea recently posted…5 Ground Rules for the Workaholic to Set on VacationMy Profile

    • Carly Ferguson says:

      That’s awesome Chelsea! You’re absolutely right – something is better than nothing and oftentimes, all it takes is starting to get motivated!

  • Ashley says:

    I think doing something you actually enjoy is key! I really enjoy taking my dogs out in the snow so we’ve been doing that this past week, but I will need to switch it up in a little but so the 2nd point is helpful. Variety!!

    • Carly Ferguson says:

      Yes! I agree that variety and doing something you love can help you stay motivated. Kudos for you for taking the dogs out in the snow… sounds like fun!

  • I love winter workouts. Mostly after they are done. I hate to be cold so I always have to be careful about layering. My husband and I ski a ton so figuring out what yo do? Not the issue. It is finding the time to do it!!
    Heather with WELLFITandFED recently posted…Important Secrets About Multitasking You want To KnowMy Profile

    • Carly Ferguson says:

      haha! I can totally relate to you on this one. Well, not the skiing part. I’ve never been skiing, but it’s on my bucket list!

  • Great post! Definitely a good thing to mull over now that winter is upon us! Right now in my hometown, it’s super cold but there’s no snow. It really limits outside possibilities, but that shouldn’t stop me! Thanks for writing.
    Amanda Butler recently posted…Marrying Young is NOT Like Leaving a Party EarlyMy Profile

    • Carly Ferguson says:

      The cold weather does make it hard to get up and moving. But once you do, you will feel so much better!

  • It’s good to know that “winter tiredness” is a thing because I definitely experience that. And it doesn’t help that I hate the cold so whenever I’m home I’m bundled up under blankets, which just makes me want to sleep and not do anything productive!

    • Carly Ferguson says:

      Yes! It’s not even that cold here in Florida, but I’m even on the couch most times curled in a blanket with my computer. I am such a wuss!

  • Channing says:

    I so needed this right now! One of my biggest new years resolutions is to lose weight and get fit. I actually started a workout regime in October of last year and carried it through to this year. I’m hoping I can attain my fitness goal this year since all last year I was miserable in regards to my fitness.
    Channing recently posted…New Years Resolution Green SmoothieMy Profile

    • Carly Ferguson says:

      You can do it, Channing! Did you see my post from today? I would encourage you to create an affirmation statement as it relates to your fitness journey and then remind yourself of it every day. It helps!

  • Karin Rambo says:

    I live in Minneapolis, so what I usually do is have a gym membership that I use during the cold months and then I quite during the summer. It works pretty well!
    Karin Rambo recently posted…A Week Long Travel CapsuleMy Profile

    • Carly Ferguson says:

      That is such a great idea! I would’ve never thought of that. I’m glad you’ve found what works for you and keeps you motivated 🙂

  • Charlene says:

    These are some great tips! It’s so important to find something you enjoy. I hate running so I’ve never kept up with a running routine for very long. But I love Pilates. I could do it all day if my body would allow it. haha

    • Carly Ferguson says:

      That’s great, Charlene! Pilates is a great workout. I went from doing mainly traditional strength training to barre workouts, and have enjoyed switching things up!

  • This is great! I become a lazy bum in the winter because it’s so cold and gets dark so early!

    • Carly Ferguson says:

      I totally feel ya. It’s hard to be motivated! But once I’ve done it, I’m always so glad that I did 🙂

  • I might be one of the few but I actually find it easier to work out in the winters. I mostly workout inside and it’s easier for me to do in the cold weather when I don’t want to be outside anyway.

  • Kristen says:

    Great tips! I’m looking forward to using the cold weather to my advantage this year. It’s yet another warm and snow-free winter here in Anchorage (boo!) but I’m hoping it will be safe enough to ice skate on the lakes again soon. And I’m really hoping we can get some snow this year so I can actually use my skis and snowshoes!
    Kristen recently posted…2015 Goal Check-InMy Profile

    • Carly Ferguson says:

      How fun! I think it would be a blast to be able to do different winter activities. We don’t really get that opportunity in Florida :-/

  • It’s always hard for me to gain motivation in the winter! These are great tips!

  • Annmarie says:

    Love these tips! Doing something you enjoy is key- I think people subscribe to the idea that they “have” to lift weight or run but if they don’t enjoy it, it will never work!
    Annmarie recently posted…Conquer Winter Running Goals With Cold Weather Gear!My Profile

    • Carly Ferguson says:

      Amen, Annmarie! I completely agree. Finding what works best for you is key and it might be different than the person next to you. That’s okay!

  • Roxy says:

    This is so great! I’m totally one of those people that has sworn to work out in 2016 but being in the Midwest has lately meant unpredictable weather. My biggest battles are on the rainy and cold days, having the motivation to even leave the couch. I recently started a barre class and I love it so I think you’re on to something about variety being helpful!

    • Carly Ferguson says:

      Ah, I feel ya! Barre classes are so much fun. I work at a barre studio and I find it’s easier to work out when it’s in a group and there’s someone telling you what to do.. ha!