Winter exercise ideas: How to stay active despite the cold, wintry weather

Staying active when it’s cold out can be a challenge. But these winter exercise ideas might inspire you to try something new, either indoors or out. Keeping up with your exercise regimen doesn’t have to be all drudgery and treadmills. There are lots of creative ways to keep yourself active, each with its own benefits. Here are some winter exercise ideas for you to try.

Resistance training

Weightlifting, or resistance training, is a fantastic indoor exercise. No matter the weather, you can head to your gym (or home gym) and get in a solid workout. Greatist says you can use your own body weight for resistance training, so you don’t need equipment. It’s a very effective way to build muscle and boost your metabolism.

Indoor rock climbing

Greatist recommends this for people who enjoy a mental challenge along with their physical exercise—after all, you need to flex that gray matter to figure out the best way up the wall. Rock climbing is a fantastic calorie burner that helps build muscle not only in the arms, but in the legs, back, shoulders, and core.


Do you have kids? Snow? How about a hill? If yes, why not head outside for some good old-fashioned sledding? The slide down is exhilarating, and walking back up the hill is great aerobic exercise that will benefit your heart.

Ice skating suggests ice skating as a wintertime aerobic activity. Ice skating for exercise will help strengthen your cardiovascular system. You could sprint-skate or skate backwards for added variety and intensity.


Dancing has great health benefits for your cardiovascular system, says Everyday Health. It also helps balance and coordination, improves flexibility, and builds strength.

Barre is a type of dance workout that combines yoga, Pilates, and weight training. This style of exercise is gaining in popularity, so you probably find a barre studio nearby, but you can also try a DVD. Zumba is another dance-based fitness program. Zumba music is a blend of Latin and international rhythms. These energetic classes are available in many areas, but if you’re worried about shaking your stuff around strangers, there are plenty of DVDs as well.


Trudging through the snow with snowshoes on is an intense exercise compared to regular walking! You’ll get a great workout; according to Snowsports Industries America, you can burn up to 600 calories an hour on your romp. Snowshoes are fairly inexpensive, so grab yourself a pair and get to stepping.A person snowshoeing outdoors.

Cross-country skiing

Nordic, or cross-country, skiing is another great outdoor activity for winter because it targets your entire body. You’ll have to invest in some gear and live in or travel to the right (read: snowy) climate, but once you get started, you just might fall in love with this popular winter sport.

This winter, don’t opt to simply continue your standard exercise with a few cold-weather modifications and warmer clothing. Snow or blustery wind shouldn’t deter you. Try any of these winter-weather exercises for a fun change to your fitness norm.

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