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Winter workout: Baby, it’s cold outside!

Time to change it up for the season! Here’s my winter workout strategy. What’s yours?

Lori-6yearsonmountainWe had our first major snow dumping in Minnesota this past week (so pretty), and when I awoke this morning it was -4 degrees in St. Paul. Brrrrrrrrrr! Winter has officially arrived. And Dean Martin’s “Baby, It’s Cold Outside!” came to mind as my feet hit the cold hardwood floor early this morning.

Does anyone have trouble staying motivated to workout in the winter when the weather turns?

I do. And I decided a few years ago when we hit record low windchill that I had to change up my workout routine in the winter. Although I absolutely love to be outside walking the lakes after a fresh snow, or climbing my mountain in a magical winter white forest, that is often not always possible in MN winter. And it’s pretty unpredictable, too. So since “A” workout is better than no workout. I adopted a plan that worked for me.

Here’s my winter workout strategy.

magicalwinter-northshore-dec2016My winter plan is to bring it to the gym at least 3x per week. I joined my local Winter View From Oberg Mountain - Dec. 20, 2016community center so I can walk to workout, even if there’s a blizzard. No photo-dec-10-1-10-07-pmexcuses! I combine that with my new all-time favorite indoor workout — the Metabolic Aftershock that I can do at home 3x per week in 20 min to get in a fat-burning, high intensity workout with strength training, flexibility, etcetera.

Walking the lakes outside in the winter then becomes an extra or bonus. When the weather is about 10+ degrees and/or it’s nice and sunny, or when I have a friend who wants to walk, I’m there! When I approach it this way, I always get excited when I get to go outside and it doesn’t make me dread the gym workouts on other days. I treat it as a bonus in the winter. And I get out a lot! So it’s a win-win.

Have some fun. Embrace winter by being in it!

The other thing I integrate into my winter workouts is time doing my all-time favorite things — mostly hiking and mountain climbing. Last weekend, I explored the winter white magical woods on Minnesota’s North Shore and celebrated six years a mountain climber on my Oberg Mountain. I’m also joining some winter hiking meet-ups this year to get out and find some new trails in the Twin Cities.

I am fortunate to work on the North Shore of Lake Superior so I get there every couple of months in the winter for some great winter hiking and  snowshoeing. (Note, I did not refer to it this way six years ago when I was coming off weight-loss boot camp!).

Why change it up in the winter?

Changing it up for winter and implementing a new exercise routine — a non-negotiable routine — means I’m less likely to “blow it off” when it gets cold outside and I don’t want to get up (I know you’ve been there!). It also helps me to not get in a rut, something that is important to help me stick with any exercise routine. I like variety.

Tips for developing a winter workout strategy

My very best advice always is to “do what you enjoy!” Do what works for you. You’re way more likely to do it and stick with it when — “baby, it’s cold outside!”

The key with anything in the realm of putting yourself in the equation and living healthy, happy and whole is to do what works for YOU. Just spend 5-10 minutes thinking about it and deciding what winter workout suits you best. Then develop a plan and a routine. Make it non-negotiable and, if you can, make it non-weather dependent if you live in a winter climate like Minnesota or Maine, where I spend my time.

So I want to hear from you? What is your winter workout routine? What’s your favorite winter activity? Do you change it up with the seasons. I would love to hear from you in the comments below.

Stay warm, happy and healthy!



View my photo gallery from my Winter Hiking on the North Shore last week, Dec. 10-11, 2016:

Read some of my other blogs about fitness and exercise here:

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