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Tips for Maintaining Your Workout Routine During the Winter


When you wake up to a fresh blanket of snow in the morning you probably want to wrap yourself in a blanket and drink hot cocoa by the fire – the last thing you want to do is to make your way through the icy winds of winter to fit in your daily workout.

man and woman jogging in the snow

When temperatures drop it can be tempting to switch into hibernation mode, but with these tips and tricks at your disposal you can stay on track with your fitness goals throughout winter:

  • Break Your Workout Into Chunks – between the added stresses of work and the psychological impact of nonstop snow and ice you may not have the energy at the end of a long day to do an extended workout at the gym.

    Consider doing short 10 or 15-minute workouts at your office or at home throughout a cold winter day to switch up your routine and keep your workouts going strong. Choose various types of exercises to focus on: maybe complete a set of lunges after breakfast, a rotation of sit-ups and pushups in the afternoon, and 15 minutes of cardio before you make dinner.

  • Eliminate Excuses – In order to maintain your workout regimen fully prepare for the cold weather before it hits. You know it’s coming, so reflect on your exercise routine and adjust accordingly. Do you run outside every morning? Buy layered athletic wear and proper running gear. Is it negative 10 degrees where you live? Invest in a gym membership. Do you anticipate snowfall of 3-plus feet? Choose a set of at-home workout videos that suit your workout preferences.

    When you’re fully prepared for the cold weather you can’t fall back on excuses – you’re ready for the cold and can hold yourself accountable to your daily exercise.

  • Adjust for the Cold – The temperature will affect your muscles and ligaments, so approach any outdoor exercise knowing you’ll have to recalibrate your timing. Extend the time of your warm-up before going outside to run or ski so your muscles, joints, and tendons don’t experience shock.

    Likewise, once you’ve finished your workout don’t immediately relocate inside to do your stretches in warm temperatures. Cool down for a few minutes in the cold so your muscles don’t become stiff when you do your stretches. Muscles cool down very quickly in the winter, so you’ll want to make these changes to avoid muscle spasms or unnecessary strain.

  • Eat on Proper Diet – Winter may be renowned for delicious treats and warm comfort food, but a habit of eating fattening meals and desserts will negate most positive effects of your workout regimen. Especially if you find it harder to work out in the winter, set stern limits on pies, cocoa, and other winter staples.

    You could even choose a leaner meal plan during the winter months to counteract the inevitable gut that comes from huge holiday meals with family. Eat more vegetables, avoid unnecessary cheese, butter, and breading, and drink plenty of filtered water every day so you aren’t tempted to snack.

With these handy exercise tips you can stick to your workout routine throughout the winter and find the motivation to stay on target yearlong.

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