Summer Bodies are Made in Winter – How to Get Fit and Reach Your Goals with Winter Workouts

It is currently 16 degrees. The weather shows a high today of 27. Yup, it’s officially COLD.

When cold weather rolls around, we all do our fair share of moaning and groaning. In fact, it even makes me a little anxious at first. Every time! “Crap, what am I going to do?! How am I going to run? Will I gain a winter layer?”

After the initial shock and dread wears off, acceptance and almost, shall I say, excitement creeps in. This winter, I’m treating my fitness as a fun challenge. I love you Mother Nature, but I’m comin’ at ya full force. Winter is actually a great time to enhance your physical fitness as opposed to calling it all a wash and resigning yourself to months of hibernation.

This winter, I’m sticking with the mantra “Summer Bodies are Made in Winter!” and viewing the season as an opportunity to get ahead and lay the groundwork for killer results. Who’s in?

Here are some tips to make the transition to cold weather workouts not only an easy one, but an awesome one.

1. Hit the gym…with a purpose!

Since you’re usual outdoor circuit workouts or runs might not be feasible in bitter temps, winter is the perfect time to head to the gym! But, I don’t mean just hop in your car and go there without any rhyme or reason – oh no! Have a plan. Pick a weight lifting routine and stick with it. Try looking at and choosing a plan that fits your goals. Your hard earned winter muscle will be on display come warmer weather!

2. Invest in some simple at-home equipment

When you’re stuck at home, you can still get a great workout in. A kettlebell, medicine ball, and resistance bands are your at home winter workout BFF’s. Having these items on hand guarantees that you can get a solid workout in…any time, any weather.

Here’s a good one from Women’s Health:

And another from Run Pretty. (Just try not to be jealous of the tan, summer gear, and green grass. Eek.)

3. Treat yourself to some new gear

Having the right cold weather gear is essential – but it helps if it’s cute, too! I personally love winter fashion and that applies to workout clothes as well. I was lucky enough to get to try items from PrAna’s early winter collection and I couldn’t be more excited about the top and leggings that I got. They are colorful, so soft and comfortable, and just the right material to keep me warm but not too warm once my heart rate gets up. Having workout clothes that you like and feel good in can boost your motivation and confidence, and in winter months, those need all the boosts they can get!

4. Tough it out

Simply don’t let the cold keep you indoors. The hardest part of running or walking in the winter is just getting out the door. Once you’re in it (assuming you are wearing the proper attire) it is quite invigorating. Just channel Frozen and exclaim, “The cold never bothered me anyway!” I’m still working on this one – my circulation is awful but I’ve found that whining doesn’t help.

5. Try new activities

Snowshoeing and cross country skiing are on my list of winter activities to try this season. Talk about a workout! Take advantage of what winter has to offer by getting out there and being active. Or, if those aren’t readily available to you, try a new class like Pilates, Yoga, or Spin. There are great options online, too! Greatist has come up with a great (as the name would suggest) list of free online workout videos.

With determination and creativity winter doesn’t have to drag you down! In fact, quite the opposite – challenge yourself to grow better, faster, and stronger with this season of winter workouts. Your summer self will thank you!


Wicked Healthy Wonderings: Does your fitness program change with the seasons? How so?

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    • Erica
    • June 14, 2020

    I find having a good at-home workout DVD collection helps keep me going through the winter months. Even though ‘winter’ is virtually non-existent in Florida! If it’s super cold out I can’t even motivate myself to drive to the gym!

    • Susie
    • June 16, 2020

    Great workout!

    • Lauren
    • June 17, 2020

    Great post! Especially since I”m post-marathon and it’s gotten SO cold outside I’ve been switching things up. Indoor strength training and spin classes have been awesome!

    • Karen
    • June 17, 2020

    Snoeshoeing is such hard work, but I always have so much fun when doing it! Summer bodies are worked for all winter long, I find once it gets cold, my motivation doubles and I have no problem working my ass off to look good in my long, awaited spring vacation! 🙂 Then it starts to warm up from there. yay!

    • Carly
    • June 18, 2020

    This is so true – last winter I trained my butt off and I noticed a HUGE difference in my pace/fitness by the time summer racing rolled around!!

    • Tina Muir
    • June 19, 2020

    This is great Ruthie, and I am totally with you about getting things done even though its cold outside. Investing in winter equipment can be easy and means you leave those excuses behind! I tend to run out no matter what, but I actually enjoy doing most my gym stuff indoors, and then going outside for the last few bits so I can cool off a little! Have a wonderful weekend!

    • Ashley
    • June 19, 2020

    Hi Ruthie! Great tips here. I usually work out in a gym, so luckily the winter doesn’t slow me down too much. However, I know it’s not always easy to fit sessions in between all the holiday parties and eating. Love the prAna! I got some too! ?

    • Susie
    • June 20, 2020

    wish I was a workout at home person. The one major plus of living in an apartment such as mine is the fact that the gym is attached, otherwise, yeah, that wouldn’t be happening!

    • Amy
    • June 21, 2020

    Having an “at-home” gym is key for me (a treadmill and one set of dumbbells does the trick for now)! Getting out for a snowy run is fun too, when the weather is better than miserable 🙂 And winter always brings great crosstraining opportunities like ice hockey! I have yet to try snowshoeing. With all the holiday treats that are coming around soon, winter is definitely not the time to give up on the exercise routine. Thanks for the great tips!

    • Lauren
    • June 21, 2020

    I just moved to Austin so I don’t think the snow will be too bad. Last winter living in NJ we had it every week! It forced me to start reconsidering at home workouts. You need a few things to do when you can’t get out.

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