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How to Stay in Good Shape During Winter

With shorter days and long freezing nights, finding the motivation to work out can be tough in the winter. That’s no excuse to bundle up on the sofa all season. Staying active can actually brighten your mood and help fight off seasonal affective disorder (SAD). You don’t have to be an athlete to reap the benefits, either. Here are some of our favorite ways to stay in shape during the winter. 

Workout indoors 

Who says you have to head to the gym to work out? You can stay fit inside your warm living room thanks to the internet. Get off the couch and dust off that exercise bike you had to have for Christmas. Don’t have any workout equipment at home? Fire up an equipment-free workout video from your favorite fitness influencer on Youtube. As long as you’re up and moving around, you’re already lapping anyone on the couch. 

Take a class

It can be tough to find the motivation to work out if you’re all alone. If you’re the kind of person who draws energy from others, why not register for a local fitness class during the winter? There are all kinds of options out there, like yoga, barre, CrossFit, and more. You’ll get your blood pumping in a warm environment and enjoy the company of other people. It’s a great way to shake off your winter blues and hold yourself accountable with a social safety net. 

Embrace the cold

Yes, it’s cold out. But so what? Get out there and embrace the snow and ice with some winter sports! If you’re in a mountainous area, hit the slopes with winter sports like skiing or snowboarding, or enjoy a frost vista with snowshoe hiking. Even shoveling your driveway can be an awesome workout. You can even gamify it by challenging your family or roommates to see who can do it the quickest! Is there no snow in your area? You can still stay active with a brisk walk in the morning air, or a gentle yoga session to ward off the cold. 

Soak up some artificial sunshine

Sometimes, you need an extra boost to get going. Staying in good shape during the winter is about more than just maintaining physical health. Your mental health is just as important, especially if you’re struggling with SAD. Studies have shown that using a lightbox can help fight off depressive symptoms during the winter. This can help you compensate for a lack of sunlight during shorter winter days. And when you’re feeling better mentally, you’re more likely to stay active physically. 

Eat hunger-crushing snacks

Of course, all your exercise won’t mean a thing if you’re sabotaging it with poor dieting habits. Idle snacking is one of the easiest ways to pack on weight during the winter. If you’re prone to reaching for chips or candy bars between meals, look for healthier ways you can satisfy your hunger, like grabbing a plant-based protein bar packed with fiber and greens. The right fuel can make all the difference in your workouts. Choose foods that are high in nutritional value to stay fit and healthy all season long.