Cool Cold Weather Workouts
With summer now officially over, the weather is getting much colder and the nights are drawing in earlier. The result? The sapping of any motivation what so ever to get a good workout in. We’ve all been there, the lure of sitting in the warm on your sofa with a beer in hand is much more appealing than exposing yourself to the tortuous cold weather elements in the pursuit of exercise. So how do we fight this urge to get fat rather than fit?
Here are some Cool Cold Weather Workouts you can try to burn some serious fat!
Use the cold weather to your advantage and try some outdoor sprints. This can be easily done by sprinting for 20-30 seconds between lampposts, trees, benches or any landmark you want to set. This results in a tabata-esque workout that will get your heart rate racing and promote fat burning.
Doing this in the cold weather will give your body a greater urge to warm up meaning sprinting will seem easier than if you were to sprint in warm weather. This is also great if you usually enjoy outdoor long distance running. It’s not normally advisable to reach your top speed when running for a long period of time (you tend to struggle to breathe!) so going out with the sole purpose of sprinting means muscles and tendons such as the hamstrings get strengthened in a way which they normally wouldn’t.
Looking for more resistance? Try hill sprints to really test those tree trunk thighs. You’ll be working up a major sweat as you pull your body up a steep incline.
Using a sport or activity that you do anyway is a great way to take your mind off of the cold when exercising. Take to the field for a friendly game of football or soccer, and you’ll soon forget how cold you are when the game turns unfriendly! This can be done with any sport that can be played outdoors such as basketball, rugby, hockey or baseball.
Football especially is a very cardio rich game with 90 minutes of non-stop moving. Studies suggest that 30 minutes of playing football can burn between 260-310 calories which isn’t bad for having fun! A sport such as football is also good for strengthening joints, ligaments and stabiliser muscles as the body is constantly moving in different directions.
HIIT At Home
If the cold weather isn’t your thing period, then you can always get a great workout from the comfort of your own living room. Cold, dark evenings may result in the lack of motivation to leave the house meaning that journey to the gym is harder than the actual workout. This is where a home HIIT session may come in handy. What’s more, you done even need any expensive equipment. Body weight workouts are great for burning fat and toning muscle.
Try this Body Weight Speed HIIT Workout that anybody can try and can be done practically anywhere:
- Jumping Jacks (30 seconds)
- High Knees (30 seconds)
- Burpees (30 seconds)
- Jump Squats (30 seconds)
- High Knee Lunges (30 seconds)
Try these with 30 seconds rest in between for 1x circuit. Do 3x circuits for a great 15 minute HIIT session that will promote fat loss and won’t take up too much time meaning you’ve still got time to lounge on the sofa guilt free afterwards!
Investing in a skipping rope is a fantastic way to keep the weight off during the colder months. 10 minutes of skipping can burn the same number of calories as a 30-minute run. Plus, the constant action of skipping for an extended period of time will soon you warm you up and keep the cold at bay if you’re skipping outside.
Skipping or jump ropes are wonderfully versatile and a number of workouts can be done with them keep things interesting. They’re also small and compact so you can take one anywhere to get a good workout.
Swap Outdoor Cycling for Indoor Cycling
The cold weather can signal bad cycling conditions for those of us that like to take to the road. Problems such as poor visibility to slippery road and pavements can make cycling a dangerous thing during the colder weather. You don’t have to give up cycling just because the weather gets brisk though.
Indoor cycling can reap huge benefits and it’s getting more popular by the day. An indoor cycling bike can be used in the home or in the gym so they’re pretty accessible pieces of equipment. If you’re substituting your road bike for one, then they’re ideal for putting on some headphones and cycling your normal outdoor distance knowing that your safety and warmth are priority. Many people also like to try Spin© classes on their studio bikes which again, can be done in gym or at home by following a simple Youtube video.
If you’re an outdoor cyclist then you always have the option of converting your bicycle into an indoor cycle by purchasing a bike trainer. These are brackets that you mount your rear wheel onto so you can cycle in one spot. It gives the same results as an exercise bike but you won’t have to give up your beloved bicycle.
Try Something Different
If bad weather is putting you off outdoor exercise regime then it’s the perfect opportunity to try something different. There’s a wide range of activities you’ve probably never thought of that are great for burning calories whilst at the same time will keep you mind off the cold.
Rock climbing is an out of the box idea that is really fun and also a great workout. It’s indoors so can be done in any weather. Indoor rock climbing can burn up to 650 calories an hour and at the same time will tone muscles over the entire body. Climbing a wall uses every muscle imaginable so you’ll be working your legs, arms, back, shoulders and even core as you’re propelling your body weight up a vertical wall.
Trampoline workouts have been a breakout in the fitness world over the past few years, and for good reason too. They offer loads of benefits with very few cons. A 1 hour trampoline session will burn around 500 calories and is also a low impact exercise so it’s very gentle on your joints. Trampoline classes are predominantly indoors so cold weather won’t be an issue here.
If you want to embrace the chill then ice skating is a great workout that can be done in the cold weather. Whether you’re lucky enough to live in an area where you can outdoor ice skate, or even if you just head down your local ice rink then this is a fun way to burn some calories. Ice skating tones muscles in the legs, glutes and core. It also massively helps with coordination and balance.
Up Your Yoga Game
Yoga is a great alternative to traditional outdoor exercises. If you’re a beginner then it’s easy to pick up and you don’t need a lot of expensive equipment to start either. Yoga isn’t only beneficial for your physical fitness but also your mental as the gentle breathing motions offer a relaxation that traditional exercise doesn’t offer. An average 30 minute Yoga session can burn up to 150 calories which isn’t bad for something that doesn’t involve moving from in front of your TV.
Or Quite Simply, Deal with the Cold
It sounds quite counter intuitive to the point of this article but just dealing with the cold is an option that adds more benefits as if you were to work out in the warmth. Firstly, you’ll actually burn more calories when exercising in the cold because the body will work harder to warm its core temperature up. This can lead to an extra bit of motivation when exercising outdoors.
You may also see a boost in your performance when working out in the cold as you try to get warmer quicker. For example, if you’re an avid runner then you’ll find that it’s harder to get warm while running, so naturally you’ll push yourself harder to get warm. So don’t be surprised if you find that your PB comes at a time when it’s brass monkeys outside!
In the extremely cold weather i.e when there’s snow on the floor, then it’s often encouraged to go out running to offer resistance that you wouldn’t normally get. The sheer force of having to plough your feet and legs through the snow burns more calories than standard running and also builds more muscle in the legs.
Try these workout alternatives when the cold weather sets in avoid getting in a rut with your exercise. The variety will keep things fresh and make sure you come out the back end of the winter months still in a mean and lean shape.