Happy mature couple covering their heads with hood during rainy day in the park.
Photo: Getty Images

With frigid temperatures, tons of rain, and the business of the holiday season, staying active during the winter months can be a challenge for even the most physically fit and motivated. However, colder weather is no reason to abandon your fitness journey or delay reaching your goals. Here are seven ways to stay on track with your goals during cooler weather.

Lace-up properly

Good shoes are a must for anyone for day-to-day use, but proper footwear is especially crucial if you’ll be walking or running through rain and inclement weather. Look for waterproof shoes and thick socks to stay dry and warm on your next outdoor walk.

Enjoy the outdoors

Not every day of the winter will be unbearably cold. Go outside when you can, and stay in the sunshine to warm up, whether you’re on a walk, playing a sport, or just enjoying nature. This can help reduce the stress that can come during the time of year when the weather can feel particularly gray and dull.

When in doubt, walk it out

Walking is one of the most simplistic exercises you can do when it’s cold outside since it requires no equipment other than the few extra layers you’ll need to bundle up with before hitting the road. Throw on a knit cap and a light jacket that doesn’t restrict your movement for some extra warmth. Stick to paved sidewalks, and consider driving the route you intend to walk ahead of time to make sure any flood conditions have been cleared.

Photo: Getty Images

Don’t skip the stretch

Stretching before a workout is always a good idea, but in the colder weather, the added warmth that your muscles will gain from stretching is critical. Stretching will allow your muscles to loosen and be less stiff once you head outdoors. You’ll be glad you stretched ahead of time once you begin any exercise, such as walking, skating, or cycling.

Invest in the gym membership

If it’s simply too cold to reasonably and safely exercise outdoors, the winter months are a perfect time to join a local gym. Many gyms nationwide offer the first couple of weeks or even months free to new customers and allow you to cancel at any time, making a gym an affordable and safe option for when it’s just too cold to exercise outdoors. Depending on what kind of gym you join, you can take advantage of exercise options available such as lap swimming or indoor cycling that you wouldn’t otherwise be able to do in the colder months.

Create your own in-home gym

If you’re up for the challenge and have the space, you can create your own home setup that can incorporate some of your favorite workouts into your routine at home while also giving you the creative freedom to add fresh ideas to your space. Try adding a yoga mat or a dumbbell rack to give you plenty to work with as temporarily you shift your workouts to be primarily indoors.

Stay hydrated

Though you may not feel as thirsty as during the hot summer months, drinking enough water is just as critical in the winter. Hydrate before, during, and after exercise. Carry an insulated water bottle if you want to drink warm water to stay extra toasty on a chilly day.

Everything counts

Staying active during the winter months doesn’t need to mean strenuous workouts you’ll dread doing. Running up and down the stairs, vacuuming or mopping the house, or even doing a DIY project in your home are all excellent ways to keep moving even if you don’t have a workout planned on a frigid day. Get creative and make it fun. The most important thing to remember is to keep moving!

The Active Aging Series is brought to you by our partner, Cambrian Homecare. Cambrian Homecare has been assisting individuals to stay independent in their homes for 25 years. Flexible experience you can trust, when the best place is still at home. Click here to see all of Cambrian’s informative articles.