7 Ways to Winterize Your Workouts

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Winter doesn't have to relegate you to endless cycles on the treadmill. In fact, winter can be a great time to revamp your workouts and get ready for spring, but it does take some planning.

Gear up

The great thing about exercising outdoors is that it usually doesn't take too many types of gear. A good pair of walking or running shoes can open up your neighborhood and the world. But winter trekking does take some forethought. Layers are key, particularly layers that keep you dry and not just warm.

Set a standard

Just because you can exercise outdoors doesn't mean you shouldn't have a standard for when to choose to stay indoors. Taking a walk in the snow is a great workout, but if there's ice you should consider popping in a yoga DVD instead.

Salute the sun

Getting out into the sunshine is important year round. It amps up vitamin D production and improves mood. Make a point to get outside for a while when it's sunny, and don't forget to slather on sunscreen.

Double up

Chores that must be done have the benefit of also being great workouts. Shoveling snow, cleaning off cars, and other tedious winter activities are a good way to get some exercise and clear your to do list at the same time.

Fun counts

Traditional winter activities such as sledding, ice skating, and skiing are as likely to get your heartrate up as running. Try your hand at these sports if your normal routine seems a little boring.

Consider a long-range plan

Hard as it is to believe, spring is right around the corner. And with spring come 5k races and other outdoor activities that you need time to train for. Winter can be a great time to build stamina, strength, and endurance. Pick a spring event--a walk, run, or similar activity--and give yourself the winter to train.

Buddy up & warm up

Taking the first step from a warm house into the ice outdoors is the hardest move to make, which is why having a workout buddy can be extremely helpful. If your buddy doesn't live with you, try having them meet you at a set time and destination; you're less likely to back out if you know someone is waiting for you!