The Best Winter Workouts if You Hate the Gym

Don't let the nasty weather get you out of shape

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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. Also, the terrain is different – slippery, unstable – so your muscles work harder during basic activities such as walking.

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. Research has shown that body will try to heat itself up, thereby burning more calories. Cold is said to activate brown fat—good fat that helps with body heat and metabolism. Brown fat helps burn the bad white and yellow fat that you might find on your thighs and midsection. One study found that exposure to cold temperatures increased brown fat activity 15-fold.

One way to motivate yourself to exercise when the possibility of staying inside cuddled up and watching Netflix all day seems more luring is to work out right before you want to do something you actually like, McLean says. “Schedule time on your calendar or set visual reminders such as putting out your workout clothes before going to bed or putting equipment somewhere you can see it.”

Working out in the snow has a lot of benefits and another one is breathing fresh air. In fact, common side effects of exercising surrounded by the white powder is feeling exhilarated, pumped with energy, and craving more.

Also, people who suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) will benefit a lot from working out in the open. Exercising in general helps reduce the symptoms but doing so in the snow during the day exposes you to a lot more sunlight, which is by far the best way to keep the blues away.

Other benefits or doing drills outside is drinking more water, developing tolerance for cold, cold temps, and you get extra Vitamin D.

Click here for 15 of the Best Winter Workouts if You Hate the Gym

More readings: 

Workouts Top Trainers Do When They Only Have 15 Minutes

Trainers Share the Top Weight Loss Mistakes People Make at the Gym

The Most Common Workout Moves You’re Doing Wrong (and How to Fix Them)

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