Got the winter doldrums? We sure do! But we also know how important it is for our health to keep active all year long, so here are some ideas that might spark your imagination, and many of them are free!
Hike. Depending on what gear you already own, winter hiking can essentially be free. Since you’ll likely be veering off the beaten path, you’ll need boots, gloves, a hat, and pants that can wick moisture away from your skin. Trails that are icy or treacherous may require cleats or spikes on your footwear of choice.
Walk. All you need is a pair of warm boots, a hat, and a coat. Maybe a four-legged friend or a child or two. You can stroll through the park, through your neighborhood, or do laps around your local mall or department store to get out of the cold.
Shoveling. Yes, this dreaded winter task, while not particularly fun, is a great way to keep moving and get some work done at the same time. It’s got to be done anyway, right?
Play. It’s as fun as it sounds. Bundle up the kids and get outside to enjoy a day of fort building, snowball fights, and snowman making. Not only will it help you kick those winter blues to the curb, but it will create lasting memories for your kids.
Get a gym membership. For those who don’t do well with extreme outdoor weather, there’s always the good old gym. Gyms are often hopping in the wintertime as people who would otherwise partake in outdoor recreation hit the treadmills and stair-steppers to avoid plummeting temperatures, frigid wind chills, and mountains of snow.
Snowshoe. Don’t own snowshoes? No problem! Many outdoor retailers have snowshoes to rent! This is a fun activity that can get you into backcountry areas that would otherwise be inaccessible during winter months. The broad platform means you’re more likely to stay atop the snow while the crampons help dig you in so that you can easily gain elevation.
Sledding. If you have twenty bucks, you can go sledding. This outdoor recreation is not only loads of fun, but gets your heart rate up each time you have to crawl your way back to the top of the sledding hill. So pull out those dusty snow pants and take your family on a sledding experience they won’t soon forget.
Yoga or Pilates. Studio memberships are often pricier than gym memberships because they come with guided instruction from a teacher. Winter is the perfect time to hit up your local yoga or Pilates studio, because these indoor spaces are often kept relatively warm and upbeat.
Swim laps. Indoor pools are a great way to stay fit and build your stamina and endurance during the winter months. Memberships to a pool can be a bit costly, but the feeling of water against your skin might just be the thing to transport you back to summertime and get you through the colder season.
Cross country ski. You can find affordable, gently used cross country skis online and at retailers that specialize in used equipment if you’re not ready to make the plunge into the realm of new and shiny. Cross country skiing gets you out into nature and boosts your heart rate while you sweat it out on the trails.
Snowboarding/skiing. If it’s in your budget, heading for the hills in wintertime is ideal. You can carve some fresh powder on either snowboard or skis and get a great cardio workout too. Just be conscious of chairlift prices.
Make a home gym. If you’re ready to make a big investment into your winter recreation, you could consider building a home gym. While more expensive than other options depending on your purchases, a home gym can be used for years to come. Consider weights, a treadmill, or even a stationary bicycle to get started.
Now there’s no more excuses for being a couch potato. There are ample ideas here that are friendly for any budget, so get a move on!