For those of us who like to stay fit, winter is a tough time. It’s cold out, so you don’t want to jog. It’s icy out, so you don’t want to bike. Even walking seems dangerous and difficult.

So what’s a health-conscious person to do during the lengthy winter chill? Is a good fitness regimen too much to ask of old man winter? Nope. Fit people are a crafty lot. Stepping outside the box is admittedly trickier when you’re on ice, but you can do it. Here’s what you can to do stay in shape over the winter.

winter fitness

Use What’s Around

So what if you can’t run a marathon in the park during February? There are plenty of places to get a jog in. If you’re looking for alternatives to summer parks, try:

  • Use the stairs. You don’t need to be carried to the fourth floor, do you? Taking the stairs can seem like small potatoes—you’re only getting a few minutes of exercise it—but those small steps can make a difference over the winter months. You’ll get your muscles working and ignite your drive for fitness.
  • Exercise indoors. There are plenty of places to workout inside. The obvious alternative to the outdoors is a gym—if you’re into gyms, get a membership. If you don’t like gyms, no problem: indoor pools are always open during the winter or mall-walking is a fantastic way to get your heartrate up without venturing onto the icy sidewalks outside. Make a few rounds every time you head out to go present shopping. And really, indoor exercise is always a safe bet. According to Jimeno& Gray, pedestrian accidents are a common source of injury and even death.
  • Try some office exercises. Look some desk exercises up and give them shot a few times a day. Your coworkers might give you a funny glance the first few rounds, but once they see how far you’re coming, they’ll get it. They might even be into it. Don’t be shocked when your office mates want to start an office fitness club!

Don’t Go it Alone

Winter is no time for rugged individualism. Being cold and lonely is no way to get fit. Keeping active is much easier to do when you’ve got the encouragement of a good group alongside you.

  • Get a significant other involved. Chances are your spouse or romantic partner also wants to stay healthy over the winter. Ask them their goals, then work together to make a plan. Daily walks will work your muscles, oxygenate your brain, and get the two of you talking. You’ll encourage each other to stick to the schedule and probably start getting along better.
  • Start a health group at work. Everyone wants to be healthier. And people like to get along with their coworkers. When you work together, you’ll be more likely to stay on track, and you’ll have more to discuss around the water cooler.

Don’t Forget to Eat Right

Exercise is a huge portion of your health, sure, but don’t forget that good nutrition is crucial for your body’s proper function. Get a variety of fruits, vegetable, and whole grains so that your body can generate the proper energy to keep up with your fitness regimen. And skip the temptation to bulk up on heavy calories to keep yourself warm over the winter. You’re not a bear. Keep eating balanced meals.