You wake up on a winter morning with big plans to fit in a walk, jog, run, or bike ride. Then you look out the window.

If you’re greeted by rain, snow, ice, windy conditions, or freezing temperatures, you might be tempted to pull up the covers where it’s warm and dry.

Been there, done that?

Research shows people are more likely to skip exercise during the winter months, especially when the weather includes rain, snow, or ice.

Here’s the thing. Winter or not, only 23 percent of adults get the minimum amount of exercise recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Here’s what the CDC recommends for exercise:

  • Aerobic exercise: At least 150 minutes a week of moderate activity (walking, jogging, cycling, etc)
  • Strength Training: Two days of strength training per week that work all the major muscle groups (arms, legs, back, shoulders, hips, core).

Regular exercise can help you manage your weight, prevent chronic diseases, improve your mood, and help you feel better.

So what should you do on a cold winter day when you don’t feel like exercising?

Here are FIVE ways to stay active during the winter months:

1. Get outside

Get out of bed and get out there…even if it’s cold. Put on a raincoat or a warm jacket. If it’s extra cold, add layers, plus a hat, scarf and gloves. Go for a brisk walk or jog. Aim for 20 to 30 minutes. That’s it.

2. Hit the gym

Too cold and wet to go outside? Go to the gym. You can check off aerobic exercise and strength training in a single visit. Walk on the treadmill or ride a stationary bike for 20 to 30 minutes. Then complete a circuit on the weight machines to work all the major muscle groups. You can be done in less than an hour.

3. Exercise at home

If you don’t have a gym membership or you really don’t want to go outside, workout at home. Try jumping jacks or jogging in place for aerobic exercise. If you have an exercise bike or treadmill at home, use it.

Strength training exercises you can do at home include: Push-ups, crunches, squats, and lunges. If you have free weights or a weight machine at home, pick an exercise you can do to work all the major muscle groups.

4. Walk indoors

Here’s another way to exercise during winter weather, without going outside. Go for a walk in a mall or big box store. Loop the mall or big box store a few times, and walk for 20 to 30 minutes.

5. Follow along…at home

Here’s another way to exercise at home. Pick a fitness video and follow along. It’s a lot like taking a fitness class at a gym. An instructor will guide you through a workout, show you what to do, and give you encouragement. Put on your workout clothes and fit in some exercise…in your living room.

Winter weather doesn’t have to stop you from exercising. In most cases, you can brave cold temperatures for a 20-30 minute workout. But if the conditions are too cold or dangerous, or you just really don’t want to go outside, there are other ways to fit in some exercise to improve health and your life.

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