All summer long you’ve been putting in the work: hitting the gym religiously, enjoying workouts in the sunshine, and staying active while enjoying the great outdoors.
But then, sometime around October or November, you start seeing a bit of a shift. The weather outside is dreary, and it offers little in the way of a nice hike or a jog around the neighborhood. At worst, you just straight up aren’t motivated to get up as early in the day and fit your workout in as you were before.
Unfortunately, the cold-weather fitness slump is pretty common, and it’s often the bane of fitness journeys every year that eventually culminates into yet another New Year’s Resolution. But the good news is that you definitely don’t need to give up on your goals just because the weather starts getting gloomy! Here’s how you can get an effective indoor workout that you can turn to all fall and winter long.
Sign up for an at-home fitness class.
At-home fitness classes have skyrocketed in popularity over the past couple of years, and for good reason! Joining an online workout class gives you a lot more flexibility: not only do you not have to make the commute to the gym or local fitness studio when the weather is bad, but you can also usually find one that you like during a time in your schedule that works best for you.
Signing up for an online fitness class is also a great way to stay accountable and structured, something that many at-home workout programs tend to lack.
Some fitness classes you can check out:
Follow along with a YouTube workout.
You don’t even need to sign up for a membership if your funds are low: there are several free YouTube workout trainers to follow along with as well! If you’re looking for a little more structure, consider following along with a “fitness challenge” or day-by-day training videos like those made by Yoga With Adriene or Bradley Martyn.
Just like you would do with any other well-rounded workout, try to incorporate a mix of both resistance training and cardio. If you don’t have any equipment you can use, bodyweight training workouts can be highly effective at helping you build lean muscle.
When it comes to at-home cardio, consider incorporating some high-intensity interval training (HIIT), which allows you to maximize your heart rate and work up a major sweat with very little space and little to no equipment necessary.
Invest in a stationary bike, treadmill, or other equipment.
If you’re looking for another option that will take your indoor workout one step further, you may want to invest in fitness tech or equipment for your home. The initial cost may be significant, but you can use them for many winters to come!
Some potential options you might consider for indoor cardio workouts:
- A treadmill with multiple speed and incline settings to change up your workout intensity
- Alternatively, a walking pad, which is great for people with less storage space and who are looking for simple ways to stay active during the day and not necessarily looking for full running or jogging capabilities
- A stationary bike with multiple settings
- Rowing machines, which target your upper body strength as well as your cardio.
As far as free weights go, consider investing in adjustable weights, which will take up less space in your home than traditional individual pairs. You can also explore other resistance training options like resistance bands and kettlebells to change up your workout when necessary.
Brave the outdoors, safely.
For the times that you’re feeling cabin fever and just need to get out there, you don’t always have to rule out an outdoor workout! You just need to make sure that you’re well-prepared for the elements. For example:
- When it’s especially cold outside, layer up with suitable clothing. You’ll want a lightweight, moisture-wicking base layer to ward moisture away from your skin as you sweat, then an insulated middle layer to shield you from the chill. Finally, you can top off your layers with a waterproof and windproof outer layer to keep you protected from all of the elements.
- If you’re considering running in cold, wet, snowy, and/or rainy weather, make sure that the lugs of your shoes are grippy and that they are waterproof to keep your socks as dry as possible.
Finally, use your discretion: if it’s actively storming outside and conditions are bordering on dangerous, it’s probably a better idea to stick with an indoor workout for the day.
If worst comes to worst, set smaller activity milestones when necessary.
Occasionally, you may need to pivot and put your regular workout schedule on the back burner during the colder months, especially as we get closer to the holidays. In cases like these, though, you can simply set some smaller goals for yourself so that you can at least keep up your momentum.
For example, you may not be able to run five miles like you normally would have liked, but you can aim to get 10,000 steps during the day and hit the treadmill or even a warm, dry indoor area like the mall or an indoor track. Setting these intermittent goals can help you stay moving forward and progressing even when your schedule doesn’t allow for much else.
The bottom line: the workouts don’t have to end when summertime does!
Even though the onset of autumn can often mean a decrease in your workout routine, it definitely does not have to be the case. Even if you can’t make it to the gym every day or explore the great outdoors and get a vigorous hike in the process, you can easily keep your fitness level up by incorporating indoor workouts into your routine all year long.