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Woman jogging outdoors by the water

Getting Motivated for an Outdoor Winter Workout

by FIJI Water on January 24, 2016

The weather outside might be frightful and yes, the fire is most delightful, but you can fight off your winter woes by warming up and working out – even in the cold!

Despite winter temps, a little dose of Mother Nature can help boost your mood while you flex your muscles. With the New Year now upon us, there’s no better time to get moving and we’ve got some tips to help you get started.

woman jogging in the snow near the mountains

Getting Motivated for an Outdoor Winter Workout

For some, it’s hard to find time to get a workout in – how’s this for a New Year’s resolution? Open up your calendar and block time off in advance because you have an important meeting to attend with yourself! With a workout already built into your daily schedule, you have a much higher chance of avoiding excuses and actually doing it. It may take some trial and error to figure out what and when your optimal workout regime might be, so be open to trying new things. Whether you find it’s before or after work, running, or cycling that gives you the highest odds for success, before long it’ll become routine! #musclememory

In the winter, do whatever you can to prevent yourself from coming home and snuggling up on the couch instead of lacing up your running shoes. If your evening run disappeared with the sun when Daylight Savings Time ended, how about trying a brisk morning jog during daylight hours instead? Or, bringing your workout gear with you to the office and running to and from your lunch destination? No matter what time you head outdoors, make sure to dress for success and bring a bottle of water.

The Benefits of Exercising in Nature

Your Mood May Improve

A study from the Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry finds that exercising outdoors may help you feel more revitalized, energetic and positive. Breathe deep in that crisp, winter air and let it snow!

Stress May Melt Away

Participants in that same study also noted their feelings of depression, tension and anger decreased when heading outside for a workout.

You Flex and Stride Differently

Did you know, when you run outside, versus on a treadmill, your stride changes and you flex your ankles more? This extra use of energy may translate to more calories burned, a nice variation for your muscles and more miles logged, according to The New York Times' Well blog.

Wind Adds Beneficial Resistance

If you're cycling, the wind adds an extra obstacle to your workout. Again, this means you're expending more energy and you may get a tougher workout than using a stationary bike indoors.

Heart Rate Bumps Up

What if your usual workouts don't lend themselves to outdoor time? Don't take the season off from your healthy routine. Find new activities for winter! Taking care of snow shoveling around your home can quickly get your heart rate up. Or, get a group of friends together for a game of ice hockey. Have a snowboard? Dust it off and give it another try to burn calories and gets the heart pumping this winter.

Before heading out, prep for success. Dress in protective layers, apply sunscreen to all exposed skin areas (yes, even in winter), wear sunglasses, pack bottled water to stay hydrated and always let someone know your workout plans and where you're going. Then, get moving!

Averse to Nature? Tips for a Great Indoor Winter Workout

If we still haven’t convinced you that the benefits of an outdoor winter workout are worth braving the cold, no problem, we don’t discriminate!

Some of our favorite ways to break a sweat indoors:

Don’t start 2017 sitting on the couch. Hit the gym, sign up for a class, do whatever it takes to keep from getting stuck in a winter slump!