Staying Active in the Winter Months

by Fawn Rechkemmer on November 29, 2014

Fitness in the Fall
It’s officially COLD outside here in Missouri and the holidays are right around the corner. For me, that means food! I’m not just talking about the pumpkin pie, stuffing, and Christmas cookies… don’t forget about all those other yummy treats that make an appearance during the holidays: tins of Topsy’s popcorn, homemade Chex mix with bacon, and perhaps a few extra glasses of wine.I don’t mind treating myself to a few extra goodies during the holidays, but I try to balance it out with some extra exercise. During most of the year, I love to get outdoors and walk, hike, and bike in the beautiful Missouri Ozarks where I live. But the temperatures hit 10° this week so I’m having to get creative with some indoor workouts. I don’t belong to a gym so I truly do have to get creative. Here’s how I manage to stay active through the winter months:

Find a workout buddy. I have a coworker who is extremely dedicated to taking a short break each afternoon to walk. I asked her to invite me to walk with her each day, and it’s a great reminder to get up and move a little more. We have a loop in the basement of our office building that we use when it’s too cold to go outside (12 loops = 1 mile) but you could climb stairs for 10 minutes or even do a few push-ups, squats, and lunges wherever you happen to be.

Put technology to work. My current favorite favorites are the 7 Minute app for Apple or Android (a full body, no equipment workout in 7 minutes!), free streaming videos at, and the Nike Training Club app. And don’t forget Pinterest — search whatever kind of workout you’re looking for, and you’ll find tons of ideas. (Here’s my Sporty Spice board if you need a place to get started.)

Secret gymsFind secret gyms. My office building has a small corner of the basement with an elliptical trainer, a treadmill, and a few sets of hand weights. It’s nothing fancy, but it’s warm and there’s usually no one down there. You can get a great workout in even if you just have 20-30 minutes.

Add fitness to other things. Do you love to relax with a sitcom in the evenings? Make up your own fitness game to go along with your favorite TV show, like doing five push-ups every time Sheldon says Bazinga! or someone does something scandalous on Scandal. (Your arms will definitely be sore the next day!)

Brave the elementsAnd last but not least… Brave the elements. If it is really cold, you can bundle up, but keep an eye out for those warmer days we have scattered throughout the winter. Take advantage of them and get outside for some fresh air and sunshine, even if you’re just going for a brisk walk. Your body will thank you!

Sarah KernerSarah lives in Ava with her husband and two young sons. She is an attorney by day and a runner, chef, and knitter by night (and early morning). She writes about how she finds joy through family, faith, food, and fitness on her blog, Beauty School Dropout.

Pamela Hernandez December 1, 2014 at 6:35 am

A hidden gym? I love it! Last winter I got some cold gear and running gloves to help me get out more in the colder weather. Huge difference!

Sarah @ Beauty School Dropout December 3, 2014 at 1:58 pm

Oh yes – Gloves and a good hat are winter running essentials.

Jenn Speer December 3, 2014 at 10:21 pm

Thankfully we stay warmer here much longer so outside activities are easier. I love finding a staircase at work though as a quick workout. Nice list!

Toni @runninglovingliving December 9, 2014 at 11:16 am

I LOVE hidden gyms at work! When I used to work at a doctor’s office we used to have a treadmill and weights in the basement in a hidden room! You used to have to go through a small door in the wall, walk under big pipes to get to the room, but on cold rainy days I was thankful for that room! Great post!

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