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Get fit this winter: 7 ideas that really work

Are you one of those people who are fairly active in the spring and summer months, but once winter comes around, exercise goes out the window?

I am.

In an effort to be more active this winter, I have been brainstorming ways that I can stay fit for less and not let myself slowly add on the pounds while I sit around indoors because it’s “too cold” to go outside.

Here are a few things that I came up with:

1. Go for a walk.
I’m going to be honest – I really don’t like working out and avoid it at all costs. I’m not sure what it is, but lifting weights and riding an exercise bike really just don’t get me all that excited. However, I do love walking (and running) because they are activities that don’t feel like workouts.

Going for a walk in the winter is a great workout because it’s a bit more strenuous to have to trudge through the snow.

2. Go skiing.
Skiing is an excellent way to burn calories and lose weight. It also helps to speed up your metabolism and the rate at which you burn calories.

Oh top of that, it’s a ton of fun! (Of course, this fun activity will have to wait until next year when I’m not pregnant!).

3. Build a snowman.
When it comes to staying fit and/or losing weight, the most important thing you can do is just keep moving. You don’t have to do an intense workout, just keep your heart rate up!

Try something as simple as building a snowman or snow fort in your front/back yard.

4. Go tobogganing.
Tobogganing is another fun way to stay fit this winter. Sliding down hills is the easy part, but what will really get you in shape is constantly making your way up those steep hills.

5. Shovel some snow.
Unless you have a snow blower, shovelling show is something that we all have to do many times throughout the winter months. The good thing is that not only will you have a clear sidewalk and/or driveway when you’re done, but you’ll have just had an excellent workout, too!

6. Go ice skating.
Lace up your skates and do a bit of ice skating this winter to get in some cardio. If you can, try to find an outdoor ice rink and make your body work a bit harder (it’s more difficult to skate when you’re all bundled up in winter apparel).

7. Exercise indoors.
If there’s a bad storm or you’re really just not a fan of being outdoors in the winter, you can always just get your exercise done indoors. Despite what many people think, you don’t need fancy exercise equipment to work out at home.

Run up and down the stairs a few times, do squats while you watch TV, or pop in an exercise DVD and get down to business.

Just because the temperatures have dropped, doesn’t mean you need to hibernate until they go back up again. It’s easy to stay in the house instead of getting outside and pushing yourself to be active, but if you don’t find some way to keep moving during the winter, it’s almost guaranteed that you will have some extra weight to lose come summertime.

I encourage you to try to find a way to be active every day, whether you do a full-on workout, or something as simple as vacuuming your house (A 150-pound person can burn approximately 238 calories per hour vacuuming the house) – just keep moving! Living an active lifestyle is one of those things that’s going to keep you around for a very long time.

How do you get fit in the winter months? Please share in the comments!


  1. Jen

    I absolutely refuse to get sluggish over the winter. My family and I (all 5 of us) walk on a daily basis at least 2.5km. I also pop in an exercise video every day and do intermediate to advanced aerobics 45 minutes a day. My weight is normal, I am in excellent shape and I love how I feel!

  2. teachermum

    I LOVE shoveling the snow…but haven’t yet had the opportunity this year! Can’t beat doing an extra shovel while snow falls softly at midnight and not a breath of air is moving…

    We have a lot of “mall walkers” in our town at the two malls before the shops open.

  3. Jennifer

    We rearranged the living room after tossing the Christmas tree. My four year old told my husband “we need to make room for mommy to do yoga”. And so they did. Now I have no excuses to get the dvd out and get going!

  4. Betty

    I discovered through an exercise/aerobics class at our local Seniors’ club a dvd that is perfect for young & old. It’s called “Walk Away the Pounds” with fitness instructor Leslie Sansone. She has various dvd’s to fit everybody (1,2,3,4,5 miles & up; yoga, etc.). You may think it’s not strenuous but my adult daughters who are very active in the gym found it to be quite strenuous for some of the workouts. It’s not just walking; there are kicks involved, squats, jogging on the spot, leg raises, weight lifting, etc. maybe your local library has it so you could try it out before you buy one!! good luck!!

  5. Cassie Howard

    Jen: I am so inspired by your motivation! I hope I can feel like that after the baby is born. 🙂

    teachermum: I love shoveling, too!

  6. Linda S.

    WE’ve been having an horrible winter so far(barely no snow, and temp. going from 10C to -24C the next day) The way that I getting more fit is by playing soccer with the kids at school at reccess. I have lost 30 pounds in 7 months by doing so (15-20min a day). The teachers/school employees play against the students. The students are loving it and so are we 🙂

  7. tara

    I sign up for the Vancouver Sun Run in training clinic @ my local rec center. Training starts mid january and runs 13 weeks and at the end of the last week you run 10km on race day. We are out snow, rain, or shine in a group once a week and then on our own for two other runs a week. Nothing motivates like getting to say in front of a large group every week that yes you did get your extra runs in!

  8. John

    I go curling at least twice a week for 2 hours. It’s good exercise and you meet some very friendly people.

    According to

    Calories burned with Curling

    272 calories per hour

    Assuming a body weight of: 150 lbs
    This is equivalent to eating any of the lines of the following table.
    Quantity Description Cals
    1 Grande Starbucks Caffe Latte – Made with whole milk 272
    0.4 McDonald’s Big Mac – With cheese 704
    3.4 Glasses of wine (3.5 fl oz) 79
    1 Snickers Bar 273
    1.3 Cans of Coca-Cola 207
    9.1 Carrots 30

  9. Ann

    I like to skip so I do it indoors. I walk to & from work most days. By the time I can warm up the car & brush it off I can be there. When we can my husband & I also take a walk around the neighborhood.

  10. Cassie Howard

    John: I’ve always wanted to try curling!

  11. John

    There’s a list of curling clubs available at Just search for your city to find nearby clubs. Most clubs offer a free trial for anyone who wants to try it out.

  12. Cassie Howard

    John: Oh, that’s great. Thank you!

  13. angela

    have a snowball fight with your kids (our rules are pretty much aim for the legs or belly, fresh snow only, no ice.

  14. angela

    have a snowball fight with your kids (our rules are pretty much aim for the legs or belly, fresh snow only, no ice.)

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