The Best Winter Workouts if You Hate the Gym from The Best Winter Workouts if You Hate the Gym

The Best Winter Workouts if You Hate the Gym

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The Best Winter Workouts if You Hate the Gym

Make the most of the winter time and replace your usual, and possibly dull, gym routine with some fun exercises that burn calories, increase your heart rate, and build muscle. A major benefit is the change of scenery, Shane McLean, certified personal trainer at Balance Guy Training, says. “It’s great for motivation’s sake.” Other very strong reason is losing weight. One study found that exposure to cold temperatures increased brown fat activity 15-fold.

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Circuits

“You'll alternate between a bodyweight cardio exercise – either high knees or ice skaters – with a bodyweight strength exercise,” McLean says. “You will do the same cardio exercise throughout the workout. Rest as little as possible between exercises and circuits.”

1 A. High knees 20 reps

1 B. Power squat- hold the bottom of a body-weight squat for 4 seconds and then explode up . 10 reps. 

2 A. High knees 20 reps

2 B. Towel row 30 seconds (alternate legs)

3 A. High knees 20 reps

3 B. Single leg hip extension 12 reps on each leg

4 A. High knees 20 reps

4 B. Pushups (Incline pushups) 8- 20 reps ( depends how good you are at pushups)

5 A. High knees 20 reps

5 B. Reverse crunches 12 reps

6 A. High knees 20 reps

6 B. Reverse lunge with kick 12 reps on each leg

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Snow fights

“I’m a big believer in making things fun,” McLean says. When things are more enjoyable, you are more likely to develop consistency, he adds. Snow fighting is moving your body, running and increasing your heart rate, all of which are beneficial. The same applies to playing catch, running with the kids or even taking the dogs for a walk.

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Football

If professional can play in the snow, so can you. Just make sure your head, hands and feet are covered well, McLean says. “You don’t want to get frostbite.” Running, throwing, sprinting – all great for the body. Snow football may very well be the only two kids of sports that you can play to the fullest in a city covered with feet of snow. The field is much smaller so you can score much faster. It will probably take two runs.

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Running

Running on snow is a little more dangerous than running in the park when the temperature is 75 degrees. The snow (and possibly ice) presents you with a challenge and the body needs to put in about 25 percent more effort simply because it’s harder. But it’s also low-impact because the snow if soft. So dress appropriately and go. Test yourself.

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Repetition ladder

Do 10 squats and 10 pushups, then do 9 of each exercise, then 8, then 7, and so on. The benefits are great as you are working out your heart and other muscles at the same time, McLean says. Getting up and down to and off the ground also raises your heart rate. Ladders are muscular endurance and conditioning training intended to help increase overall exercise volumes.

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Building a snowman

This is a great exercise, McLean says. “It’s also a great distraction – you’re not realizing that you’re working out and you won’t be thinking ‘my legs hurt’” You have fun with the kids and you move your body up and down a lot, activating your back and leg muscles. Your hands also get a workout from all the shaping and hardening the snow. You’re squatting a lot, which shapes up your entire legs.

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Shoveling snow

If you think about it, by shoveling you are actually doing squats, twists (working the obliques), lunges (pushing the snow as opposed to lifting lowers the risk of back injuries), and deadlifts. The last one works your entire body like very few exercises.

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Use a resistance band

Most people don’t have special gym equipment in their homes, McLean says. But a lot of things can serve as a resistance band. And you can do a lot with it, he adds. Squats, shoulder presses, back exercises like rowing, he adds. Resistance bands offer all of the same benefits as lifting weights. Strength training is an effective means of reducing body fat and it’s an essential mode of exercise for anyone with weight loss goals.

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Bodyweight exercises

Bodyweight exercises are great because you can almost yourself to exhaustion but it’s much easier to recover, as opposed to lifting heavy weights, Mc Lean says. Do more than 12 reps per exercises for better effectiveness, he adds. “You can hit the whole body at once by doing just squats, pushups variations and lunges.”

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Hot yoga

Even if you can't make it into a studio you can crank up the heat in your house or get in front of a space heater and practice. There are routines you can find online via podcasts or even free videos on YouTube. Hot yoga is also a way to keep warm while working out in the winter. This will help to improve your blood flow and circulation.

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Tabata

Fitness instructors recommend Tabata training, which is just another form of a high-intensity interval training workout, but even more intense. The whole routine lasts four minutes. Perform one exercise as hard as you can for 20 seconds and then rest for 20 more. Do burpees, squats and pushups or mountain climbers. Tabata can burn more calories than running. It’s a short workout and it incorporates your total body, so it's working every muscle group that you possibly can. 

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Skiing

When the snow starts piling up and the temperatures start to dip, resist the urge to hibernate. Get your layers on and bring some hand warmers. This tough and classic workout is a go-to winter activity for major athletes that want to stay in shape. Propelling yourself forward on a pair of skis and mostly flat terrain is one hard task, but it’s a lot of fun. Ski and you’ll see cardiovascular and strength improvements throughout your body.

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Fat biking

Can’t wait for sun-soaked spring cycling? You don’t necessarily have to. Give fat biking a shot, the wide-tires tackle snow and give the rider a great workout. It’s become increasingly popular and there are more places to ride than ever before. For those who already love cycling, fat bikes can help extend your riding season well into the snowy months, whether you choose to bike commute or hit the trails.

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Ice skating

The old date night favorite can also double as a great workout, especially for your lower body. Ice skating comes in many forms, from figure skating to hockey games and each provides its own list of benefits—even the regular laps around the ice can provide fitness benefits.

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Swimming

It’s cold outside for open water swimming but that shouldn’t stop you from exercising. Indoor pools are a good substitute. Swimming is one of the most efficient total-body workouts around. The resistance of the water is great for building strength and picking up the pace makes for fantastic cardio. It is a low-impact activity so the risk for an injury is significantly lower. It’s also a good great alternative for people how have pre-existing health problems and shouldn’t run. 

The Best Winter Workouts if You Hate the Gym