Turning to indoor activities such as at-home workouts, team sports and gyms can elevate your mood and maintain the gains you made from the spring through fall.

Keeping up with winter workouts is a challenge for people in the Northeast when snow is flying, the ground is icy and frigid temperatures linger for days.

You can also create your own exercise program based on body weight using movements like chair squats and counter pushups.

For many, turning to indoor activities is the best way to exercise during these winter months. Luckily, there are many options for indoor exercise as well as occasional breaks in the weather that allow you to take your winter workout outside.

Whatever you choose to do, it is important to keep up your exercise through the winter so you don’t lose the health and fitness improvements you made from spring to fall. Regular winter workouts can also elevate your mood, which is particularly helpful when the winter cold and dark starts to bring you down. You’ll be feeling great and ready to go after the last thaw!

Try Home Winter Workouts

If you are motivated to exercise at home and have adequate space, following a DVD or streaming program that guides you through an aerobics, strength training or yoga workout is one option. Most DVDs are likely to last between 30 and 60 minutes. Doing a moderate, half hour workout five days per week will meet the current guideline for improving and maintaining fitness.

Using a sturdy, elevated surface to do pushups is one way to stay fit in the winter.
Using a sturdy, elevated surface to do push ups is one way to stay fit in the winter.

You can also create your own exercise program based on body weight using movements like chair squats and counter pushups. In addition, there are also plenty of good home exercise options if you can invest in equipment.

A low-cost option could be a set of resistance bands and a nylon door anchor that are used for a variety of strength training exercises. A higher cost option could be a treadmill, rowing machine or a fan bike for aerobic exercise.

Join a Health Club

Joining a health club or an indoor recreation league has a cost, but both are well worth the investment if they keep you active. Health clubs typically offer group classes for various fitness levels and are staffed with certified personal trainers to provide guidance on what type of exercise will help you reach your fitness goals.

Some clubs have indoor pools, and swimming is a good aerobic exercise. Wearing a floatation belt for resistance while walking or running in the water is also a good option when conditions outside won’t work for outdoor walking or running.

You can maintain your cardiovascular fitness through winter storms and work your muscles and joints differently as well.

Outdoors, dress in layers and cover areas vulnerable to frostbite, like fingers and ears.

Sign Up for a Team

Check with your local municipality or school system for exercise classes or adult sports leagues run through recreation departments. You may find an indoor basketball or tennis league to keep you moving and engage with new people, too.

Appreciate Outdoor Sports

Of course, there are also outdoor winter activities that many look forward to, like cross-country skiing or snowshoeing.

If you head outdoors, be sure to prepare and “gear up.” Dress in layers and cover areas that are vulnerable to frostbite, like fingers and ears.

When temperatures are low, take the time to warm up before going outside. March your feet in place for several minutes and stretch to make your body warm and mobile. As with outdoor exercise in any weather conditions, stay well hydrated and keep your cell phone with you to be safe, in case you have an accident while out.

Mike Bento is an advanced trainer at The Clubs at Charles River Park and Massachusetts General Hospital. He holds a master’s degree in human movement and is certified by the National Academy of Sports Medicine as a corrective exercise specialist and performance enhancement specialist.