Cold-Weather Exercise Ideas

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Hi Hungry Girl,

During the summer, I'm pretty active -- I go for walks, bike rides, etc. But now that it's colder out, I find I'm not exercising as much. Any ideas for how to increase my physical activity this time of year without splurging on a year-round gym membership?

Hibernating Hillary

Hi Hillary,

I completely understand where you're coming from. Something about cold weather makes me feel a little lazy! But since I feel much better when I exercise, I've learned to make it a priority no matter what. Here are some ideas to help you out...

I actually like working out at home, and my personal go-to form of exercise is walking on my treadmill while watching my favorite TV shows. (I DVR them.) But you don't need to invest in a treadmill to get in a workout at home. Lots of cable companies offer exercise videos on demand, with classes ranging from Pilates to hip hop. There are also tons of websites with videos like these. Gaiam TV is GREAT, and Fitness Blender is completely free. Even the local public library often has exercise videos. (They may be dated, but sometimes that's fun!) When in doubt, just blast your favorite tunes and dance around your place. That definitely burns calories...

If you'd rather get out of the house but don't want to brave the cold, go do some power walking around the mall. It might sound silly, but it works! Make yourself a fast-paced music mix to listen to -- it'll encourage you to keep your heart rate up. Bonus points for taking the stairs instead of using the escalators!

If you like the idea of a gym membership but know you don't need one in the warmer months, shop around for seasonal deals. Sites like Groupon and LivingSocial are constantly offering discounts on gym memberships and classes. A month or two at a good price might be perfect for you.

And I definitely suggest wearing a pedometer. I find that it really holds me accountable for how active (or inactive!) I am. Try to get in 10,000 steps a day. If the day's winding down and you're only at 4,500, maybe it's time to hit the mall!

Good luck, and let me know how it goes...

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