Winter Running, Cycling, and Walking
25 Ways to Winterize Your Workout
Whether you’re a walker, runner, or cyclist, chances are that when temps are tolerable, you spend as much time outside as possible—and perhaps you slack a little on total-body conditioning. This winter, take full advantage of your indoor exercise time. Use it to tone and strengthen all of your muscle groups instead of sticking only to those used in your sport.
Concentrate on your core. “While strengthening the legs is important, having a strong trunk (everything from the shoulders to hips, including abs, chest, and back) is vitally important to [walking, running, and cycling], as a stable trunk promotes better limb movement and efficiency leading to better performance,” says Machowsky. (Related: For ideas on how to build a stronger midsection, check out 6 Hard-Body Winter Sports).
Don’t be afraid to have fun. Winter months are a great time to try a new group fitness class, like Zumba, martial arts, or a sports conditioning class, suggests Paris “You can still break a great sweat while focusing on core or leg strength during a total-body-conditioning workout,” she says.
Take a dip in the (heated) pool. If a spring, summer, and fall of endurance exercise has left you with an overtraining injury and in search of a low-impact form of exercise that works your whole body, try tossing your workout into the water. “Swimming is a great cross-training exercise that includes both resistance and endurance components,” says Machowsky. (Related: 6 In-Water Workouts to Try)
Hit the slopes. Instead of fighting the snow, bundle up and use it to your strength training advantage. “Skiing is fantastic for total body toning—glutes, hamstrings, quads, back and abs, and arms,” says Paris. Just be sure to stretch before hitting the mountain, as skiing and snowboarding can be extra challenging if your warm weather workouts have not incorporated components of flexibility and balance, she adds.
Stomp your way slim. If flying down a mountain sounds like a frightening feat, try snowshoeing instead. It’s still a great total-body workout, but it’s less taxing on your joints and safer for your muscles if you have not regularly stretched your hamstrings and lower back, says Paris.
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