Especially for those of us who live in northern climates, it can be challenging to get much exercise in the winter without having to pull out our wallets. Parks and jogging trails are great free options in warmer months, but we often have to get a little more creative in colder months of the year. Adults and children alike often feel better and sleep better when they get regular exercise- so it’s important to stay active even when you’d rather be hibernating!
12 Free or Cheap Ways to Get Exercise in the Winter
1) Sledding. Fun for both adults and kids if you have enough snow on the ground
2) Build a snowman. Again, this does not have to be an activity just for the kids in your life!
3) Open gym time. Check with schools and other organizations in your community- sometimes certain communities may open up city auditoriums or gymnasiums for free play days in colder months.
4) Swimming. You can still go swimming when it’s cold out! Indoors, that is. Check out your local YMCA or indoor pool facility- often there may be a fee associated with this, but sometimes they may have deals on certain days of the week when it’s less busy, etc. It’s probably not any more expensive than going to the movies, and it’s certainly better exercise!
5) Mall walking. Most people probably associate this activity with adults, but this can also be a great activity for families with young children. Especially in the malls that have kiddie playgrounds!
6) Walking/running outside. Even though it’s cold out, there are typically some days you can still get outside for a walk or a run- take advantage of it!
7) Ice skating. You can often rent skates for cheap, or better yet- see if you can borrow skates from someone you know.
8) Wii sport games. Games like this can be a great source of exercise if you already have the Wii or other equipment. Maybe Saturdays can become family Wii sport tournament time when the snow is flying outside! Here’s a tip: check with your local library to see if you can check out any games from them- in some communities this may be a possibility.
9) Shoveling snow. What, you live in an apartment and there is no snow shoveling to be done? Make friends with your neighbor and offer to shovel their snow. You will probably have a friend for life!
10) Exercise in your home. There is no law that says that sit-ups and push-ups can only be done at the gym! Challenge yourself to do a certain number of in-home exercises on a regular basis, and hold yourself to it! For families: try out living room exercise hour (or half hour, or whatever) with your kids. Here’s a tip: your kids are much more likely to get into it if they see their parents getting into it 😉
11) Check out community sports leagues. Intramural sports like basketball leagues are available in many communities for both adults and kids. Cost varies for this, so you would want to look into it before signing up.
12) Gym membership. In some places you may be able to just join a gym for a few months of the year to get you through until warm weather returns. Also, if you are in the market for a gym membership remember that gyms often run new member deals in January, so if you can sign up that month you may end up paying less in fees.
There are plenty of other winter activities out there such as skiing, show shoeing, hockey, etc. that may require more equipment or fees so may be more expensive. But if you already have the equipment or have someone that you could borrow from, great! Those activities are awesome sources of exercise as well.
Disclaimer: This is not intended to be medical advice. Check with your doctor before beginning an exercise regimen.
What are some ways that you and your family stay active in colder months?
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