Winter Workouts: Beat the Cold With These Hot Exercises!

Working out in the winter can be a challenge — unless you have an arsenal of fun and effective winter workouts at your disposal!

After the holidays, you want to attain your fitness goals for the new year.

Unfortunately, the dark and cold winter days make sticking to your exercise routine tough.

The shorter days, snow, and ice can make it hard to stick to outdoor workouts.

Dark and chilly months can also lead to a loss of motivation to even want to exercise indoors!

Luckily, there are ways to stay in shape with winter workouts, both indoors and outdoors.

Many of these options can be done from home, and you can even include your family in the fun.

Ready for some fun winter workouts?

Learn how the weather impacts our health and how to change your routines with the seasons!

Creating Your Winter Workouts

If you want to stay accountable for your fitness during the winter months, it helps to write out a schedule that you can stick to.

You can tailor your fitness program to your family and work schedules by writing down specific workouts and times.

You will want to incorporate metabolic resistance training, cardio, and balance and mobility workouts to target total body fitness each week.

Here is a general blueprint for what your week should look like.

You can move around the days based on what your schedule allows as long as you try to hit all the main components of the winter workouts.

Monday: Cardio
Tuesday: Full Body Weight Training/Resistance Training
Wednesday: Rest
Thursday: Full Body Weight Training/Metabolic Resistance Training
Friday: Balance and Mobility Workouts
Saturday: Rest
Sunday: Rest or 3rd Full Body Weight Training/Resistance Training

By actually planning your week of workouts ahead of time, you can ensure adequate rest and recovery between sessions.

Giving yourself 48 hours between each strength training session allows proper recovery time for muscle rebuilding.

For moms just starting a new fitness routine, you can start with just two resistance workouts a week and gradually add in the third session as your fitness improves.

Full Body Strength Training During the Winter Months

Full-body resistance or weight training is important all year round, especially in the winter, as your motivation starts to dip.

Increasing and maintaining lean muscle mass will give you a toned physique and improved strength, increasing the number of calories you burn throughout the day.

Many women tend to focus more on aerobic workouts or activities like yoga and Pilates.

While these are great exercises and should definitely be incorporated into a fitness routine, weight lifting and strength training should not be ignored.

Busy moms don’t have limitless hours that they can spend each day devoted to specific workouts.

That’s why you need efficient workouts where you can build strength and cardiovascular endurance all at once.

This is where full-body resistance training is the perfect option.

By using compound exercises and hitting all the major muscle groups, you will also get your heart rate up and enhance your aerobic endurance along with building strength.

You can get killer full-body workouts using your body weight or a set of light dumbbells or resistance bands.

Winter Strength Workout

Studies have shown that you can achieve similar muscle growth using high weights with low reps or high reps with low weight, as long as the exercise is done to failure.

So, when you can’t use free weights, you can still challenge yourself by increasing reps of bodyweight exercises to fatigue your muscles.

Another way to challenge the muscles is to modify the exercise positions to add resistance.

This means that even without weights or equipment, you can still get a killer workout using your body weight.

Try this full-body resistance workout 2-3 times a week.

You’ll forget all about the cold as you pump out the reps in this winter workout sweat session!

This bodyweight workout will target the upper and lower body and requires no equipment.

Perform 8-10 reps of each move, then move to the next exercise.

Repeat the whole circuit 2-3 times, depending on your current level of fitness.

Standard Push-Ups

Position your hands under your shoulders with your feet straight behind you.
Lower your chest towards the ground, pause, and then extend your arms to push back up.

Push-ups are the ultimate bodyweight chest workout and will also work your triceps, shoulders, back, and core muscles.

Body Weight Squats

Start in a standing position.
Drive your hips back and bend at the knees until your thighs are parallel to the floor.
Then, drive your legs back up to the top.

Squats are an excellent way to build quads, glutes, and hamstrings. You can add intensity to this exercise by exploding into a jump before landing and starting the next rep.

Arm Hauler

Lie on your stomach with your chest lifted and arms behind you.
Extend your arms to the side and swing them around until they meet in front of your face.
Then, slowly swing the arms back behind you again.
Keep your chest lifted throughout this exercise.

This exercise will engage the lats as you move your arms in front and extend the arms behind your body.

Pike Push-Ups

Start in a push-up position.
Lift your hips so that your body forms an upside-down V.
Your legs and arms should stay as straight as possible.
Bend your elbows and lower your upper body until the top of your head nearly touches the floor.
Pause, and then push yourself back up until your arms are straight.

This bodyweight exercise will target the shoulders as you lower your body from a higher angle than a standard push-up.

Glute Bridge

Lie on your back with your arms extended to the sides.
Keep your feet on the ground and bend your knees.
Drive your hips to the ceiling as you squeeze your glutes.
Pause, then return your hips back to the floor.

This is a great exercise to target your glutes and hamstrings and will also help strengthen your lower back.

Elbow Plank

Place your forearms on the ground, elbows below your shoulders, and legs extended behind you.
Engage your core and hold this position for 30 seconds.

This is not only an abdominal exercise.

It is also great for shoulder stability and muscle endurance of the lower back, neck, and legs.

Cardio/Interval Training

You want to be sure to challenge your cardiovascular system in any workout program.

Interval training is perfect for at-home cardio.

This can be done with minimal to no equipment, and you only need a small area of free space.


Perform each movement for 30 seconds, then move right into the next move.

Jog in Place
Jumping Jacks
High Knees
Arm Circles-15 seconds forward, 15 seconds backward

Repeat twice through, rest for one minute, then move into the main set.

Main Workout

Perform each exercise as fast as possible for 30 seconds, then rest for 30 seconds.

Squat with Front Kick

Squat down, stand back up, then kick forward with the right leg.
Bring the right leg back, squat again, then kick forward with the left leg as you stand.
Continue alternating sides.

Bear Crawls with Push-Ups

Squat down and walk your hands out into a plank.
Do a push-up, then walk the hands back and stand up.

Side to Side Plank Abs

Start in a plank position.
Hop both feet up to the right, trying to bring your knees to the outside of your right elbow.
Hop back into the plank position, then bring your knees to the left.
Continue alternating sides.

Tricep Dips with Leg Extension

Using a chair or step, lower into a tricep dip.
As you push up, straighten your right leg and reach your left hand towards your right toe.
Lower your leg and repeat, alternating sides.

Push-Up to a Side Plank

Start in a plank position and lower down into a push-up.
As you push back up, rotate your body to the right, moving your right arm straight into a side plank.
Rotate back, do another push-up, and then do a side plank to the left.
Continue alternating sides after each push-up.

Superman Pulses

Lay on your stomach on the floor or exercise mat.
Extend your arms in front of you.
Contract your glutes and back to raise your arms, legs, and chest off the floor.
Once in this position, pulse your arms up and down by squeezing your shoulder blades together.
Lower your arms, legs, and chest down after 30 seconds.

Cool Down

Cool down with gentle stretches, such as hamstring and quad stretches for the legs, and tricep and shoulder stretches for the arms.

Don’t Forget Mobility and Balance Work!

Mobility and balance workouts build a solid core, the foundation for all your other activities.

Balance and flexibility become even more important as you age to improve flexibility, range of motion, and coordination

Plus, this helps maintain healthy muscles and connective tissue and reduces your risk for injuries.

On top of all this, these exercises will also improve your strength and aerobic fitness.

For example, a study from the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research found that participants in Pilates classes were able to improve their muscular endurance and flexibility using relatively low-intensity Pilates exercises.

Think of this day as an active recovery day.

This is a great time to do some light stretching and balance moves in the comfort of your own home.

Here are some sample balance and mobility moves you can incorporate into your weekly winter workouts.

At-Home Mobility and Balance Exercises

Tree Pose

Stand with your arms at your sides.
Keep your weight on your left leg and place the sole of your right foot inside your left thigh.
Once balanced, bring your hands in front of you in a prayer position.
Extend your arms overhead, separated and facing each other.
Hold this position for 30 seconds.
Lower and repeat on the right side.

Downward Facing Dog

Start on all fours with hands directly under your shoulders.
Move your hands a few inches forward and spread your fingers wide.
Press your palms into the floor and press your butt toward the ceiling, bringing your body into an inverted V position.
The feet should be about hip-width apart, with the knees slightly bent.
Hold for three deep breaths.
Come into a plank position, and then return to the downward-facing dog for another three breaths.

Upward Facing Dog

Start by lying on your stomach with your hands near your shoulders.
Inhale and press your hands firmly into the floor and slightly back.
Straighten your arms and lift your torso up and your legs a few inches off the floor.
Hold for three deep breaths.
Straighten into a plank position, then return to the upward-facing dog for another three breaths.

Seated Twist

Sit on the floor with your legs extended.
Cross your right foot over the outside of your left thigh.
Keep your right knee pointed up.
Then, place your left elbow on the outside of your right knee.
Place your right hand on the floor behind you near your lower back.
Twist to the right as far as you can.
Hold this for 30 seconds.
Switch sides and repeat.

Hip Flexor Stretch

Kneel on your right knee and place your left foot flat on the floor in front of you with your knee bent.
Lean forward, stretching your right hip towards the floor.
Hold for 30 seconds, then switch sides.

Child’s Pose

Sit up on your heels.
Bring your torso forward, and allow your forehead to rest on the mat or floor in front of you.
Lower your chest as close to your knees as you comfortably can, extending your arms in front of you.
Hold the pose and take several deep breaths.

Winter Cardio

Just because it’s cold outside doesn’t mean you should neglect your cardio workouts.

Even if you love running or biking outdoors, that isn’t always possible in the winter, even with the best preparation.

Dangerously cold wind chills, winter storms, and icy roads mean that, at some point, you will need to move your workouts indoors.

Many videos and apps offer great at-home programs, including circuit workouts, yoga, Pilates, and so much more that don’t require expensive equipment.

If you have your own exercise equipment at home, that’s a bonus.

If not, winter could be a great time to join a gym.

Then you can get your cardio and weight training done all in one place.

This means you have no excuse not to get a great workout from anywhere!

Outdoor Cardio: Stay Safe As the Days Get Shorter

If you enjoy exercising outdoors, you don’t have to stop in the winter.

But the change of season means that it gets dark earlier at night.

This makes staying smart and safe during your workouts even more important.

Still, just because it’s dark outside doesn’t mean you can’t get a great workout.

The early mornings and evenings in the winter are still great times to get in your cardio as long as you’re prepared.

If you are walking or running outdoors before sunrise or after sunset, you should wear a reflective vest or headlamp.

You can even carry a small flashlight so that others can see you.

You also should be prepared for running on icy or snowy sidewalks and roads.

If you know your route will be slippery, you can equip your running shoes with spikes or cleats.

Choose The Right Winter Weather Gear

The winter days mean cold temperatures and high winds.

While you may feel cold when you begin your workout, your body will start to warm up as you get going.

And when you combine sweat with low temperatures, this can make for an even colder workout.

To deal with this, you should layer your clothing for outdoor runs.

Be sure to choose fabrics that wick moisture away from your skin so you’re not exercising with wet fabric hanging on you.

The inner layer should be a moisture-wicking fabric that wicks away sweat, and you’re not chilled.

The second layer should be a warmer layer, like a long-sleeved shirt.

If rain or snow occurs, you can add a third protective layer, such as a windbreaker.

If you are out for a run or walk, you can tie the top layer around your waist when you start to warm up.

You can also choose a loop route that comes back by your house or car so that you can leave extra clothing there as you continue your workout.

Planning your workouts ahead of time will keep you safe and comfortable during your winter workouts.

Workout With Your Kids

Winter is also a great time to introduce your children to the benefits of an active lifestyle.

The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans recommend that children and adolescents ages 6 to 17 years do 60 minutes or more of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity daily.

However, the National Survey of Children’s Health found that only 24% of kids this age achieve this activity level.

So, if you can get your kids moving now, this will set up healthy habits for a lifetime.

You can create circuit workouts indoors.

Or grab some warm running gear and challenge your kids to jog around the block.

Whatever you choose, the more enjoyable you make the activities, the more likely your kids will want to stay engaged in fitness.

The snow also offers alternative exercises that the whole family can enjoy.

Skiing and snowboarding are great winter sports, stimulating your heart and building serious lower-body strength.

These are also great exercises to improve core strength and balance.

Fun activities like sledding will get you amazing exercise from dragging your sleds up and down the hills.

If there is a nearby ice rink, ice skating is another fun winter sport that will keep you and the kids in great shape and entertained, all at the same time.

Holly Smith, M.D.
B.S. – Dietetics, NASM-PES Certified Trainer

Writer, The Fit Mother Project

Holly is an osteopathic physician, runner, triathlete, and fitness and nutrition enthusiast.

She is board certified in nephrology and internal medicine, has a bachelors degree in dietetics and is a certified personal trainer with NASM-PES certification.

Holly has completed four full ironmans, twelve marathons, countless half ironmans, olympic distance triathlons, half marathons and numerous other road races.

Holly joined the Fit Father Project in May 2019 as a regular writer, contributing articles on health, wellness, exercise, and nutrition.

She has also recently qualified for the 2020 World Championships for Ironman 70.3, in New Zealand!

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If you’re a busy mom who wants to finally lose weight,
get healthy, and actually keep the pounds off for good,
this is the simple program you’ll love sticking to…

Our Fit Mother 30X Program (FM30X) is the answer you’ve been looking for. Inside FM30X, you’ll receive:

The simple & delicious Fit Mother Meal Plan with easy recipes for you and your family.
The metabolism-boosting Fit Mother 30X Workout (under 90 min/week) to kickstart your metabolism for fast fat burning.
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*Please know that weight loss results & health changes/improvements vary from individual to individual; you may not achieve similar results. Always consult with your doctor before making health decisions. This is not medical advice – simply very well-researched info on winter workouts.

The post Winter Workouts: Beat the Cold With These Hot Exercises! appeared first on The Fit Mother Project – Weight Loss For Busy Moms 40+.

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