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Working Out in Winter Climates

ehju0901ehju0901 Member Posts: 216 Member Member Posts: 216 Member
Hey everyone, so I live in Minnesota where temps can reach -40 degrees in the winter which means I obviously can't get outside for exercise. I'm a pretty strict cardio fan and I enjoy long stretches of fast paced walking. I feel like winter is going to be tough on me as it forces me to use the equipment in the gym (going to the gym gives me anxiety, but I know there is no real way around it in my case).

Any tips to stay motivated or experiences that might help?
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Replies

  • fstricklfstrickl Member Posts: 867 Member Member Posts: 867 Member
    I understand your struggle regarding the winter months! For me the dark makes it hard to get up and workout. Would you be open to doing videos? There are non-cheesey ones out there. Fitnessblender and the Nike Training Club (there’s a free app) are pretty good.
  • Machka9Machka9 Member Posts: 19,718 Member Member Posts: 19,718 Member
    I lived in Winnipeg many years.

    I cross-country skied, snowshoed, walked and snowbiked ... even in bitterly cold temps. :)

    If I really didn't feel like going outside, I rode my bicycle on my trainer, did short exercise videos, went to yoga classes, went to the gym or lifted weights at home.
  • ahoy_m8ahoy_m8 Member Posts: 2,503 Member Member Posts: 2,503 Member
    Feel for you there. -40C is no joke. Skating (or anything outdoors of a duration over ~5 min) isn't really an option unless you're at an indoor rink, which could be fun. Long fast walks are so calming, especially if there's green space and nature around. Better for the psyche than the body, IMHO. Hard to find an indoor equivalent.

    Maybe if you could find a true HIIT (vs. trendy not quite HIIT) program you could do at home for the physical part and something totally different like guided meditation for the mental part. Not the same by a mile, but something good for you.

    ETA: Hopefully the -40C days don't come around too often and you can bundle up as AliNouveau suggests for the more survivable days. Personally, I'm really energized walking or Xcountry skiing in bracing cold, but there are limits. Exposed skin freezing is no fun.
    edited September 2020
  • ehju0901ehju0901 Member Posts: 216 Member Member Posts: 216 Member
    BahstenB10 wrote: »
    ehju0901 wrote: »
    Hey everyone, so I live in Minnesota where temps can reach -40 degrees in the winter which means I obviously can't get outside for exercise. I'm a pretty strict cardio fan and I enjoy long stretches of fast paced walking. I feel like winter is going to be tough on me as it forces me to use the equipment in the gym (going to the gym gives me anxiety, but I know there is no real way around it in my case).

    Any tips to stay motivated or experiences that might help?

    I have the same problem with gym anxiety. The only thing that helps me is loud music to zone out people and keep telling myself, "get in and get out. we are all here for the same reason." Sorry I can't be of much help :( just know you aren't in it alone!

    I appreciate that! I really need to get on the music train as well. So far, I've just been listening to nature lol.
  • ehju0901ehju0901 Member Posts: 216 Member Member Posts: 216 Member
    ahoy_m8 wrote: »
    Feel for you there. -40C is no joke. Skating (or anything outdoors of a duration over ~5 min) isn't really an option unless you're at an indoor rink, which could be fun. Long fast walks are so calming, especially if there's green space and nature around. Better for the psyche than the body, IMHO. Hard to find an indoor equivalent.

    Maybe if you could find a true HIIT (vs. trendy not quite HIIT) program you could do at home for the physical part and something totally different like guided meditation for the mental part. Not the same by a mile, but something good for you.

    Haha, thank you for understanding my struggle. I'll have to look into meditation, I've always wanted to try it out!
  • AliNouveauAliNouveau Member Posts: 36,287 Member Member Posts: 36,287 Member
    ahoy_m8 wrote: »
    Feel for you there. -40C is no joke. Skating (or anything outdoors of a duration over ~5 min) isn't really an option unless you're at an indoor rink, which could be fun. Long fast walks are so calming, especially if there's green space and nature around. Better for the psyche than the body, IMHO. Hard to find an indoor equivalent.

    Maybe if you could find a true HIIT (vs. trendy not quite HIIT) program you could do at home for the physical part and something totally different like guided meditation for the mental part. Not the same by a mile, but something good for you.

    ETA: Hopefully the -40C days don't come around too often and you can bundle up as AliNouveau suggests for the more survivable days. Personally, I'm really energized walking or Xcountry skiing in bracing cold, but there are limits. Exposed skin freezing is no fun.

    I've skated outdoors in bitter cold and even when it's been snowing. Bundle up and it's fine. Just makes you work harder to warm up. The ice is harder when it's bitterly cold which I don't personally like but it's still fun
  • ehju0901ehju0901 Member Posts: 216 Member Member Posts: 216 Member
    Some of us are crazy enough to run / snowshoe / x-country ski / walk all winter long and it gets down to -40 here occasionally too.. it's all in the layering.

    sqjp64y5sq2x.jpg



    That looks painful!
  • ritzvinritzvin Member, Premium Posts: 2,816 Member Member, Premium Posts: 2,816 Member
    AliNouveau wrote: »
    I live in Canada and stay fit in the winter. Finding a winter sport if good. What about getting a pair of skates and skating? Or skiing? I hate treadmills, they make me trip, so I skate and I curl in the winter or do a cardio workout video. There's all sorts you can do. Or just dress warmly and head out to walk.

    Very, very large overlap between cyclists and skiers where I am. (I'm not a skier though). Finding a winter cold-weather hobby can help. Unfortunately, the early darkness can be a significant extra problem for that though too. (For instance, our county parks close at "dusk" and it's being enforced the last 1-2 years - and the better parks for trail running, XC-skiing, fat biking, snow shoeing are all county parks). When bitterly cold (usually a lot of the extra suck is due to wind chill), taking shelter in dense tree cover for exercise makes a huge difference - but not much of a weeknight option here. (possibly better luck for you there).

    My outdoor cardio gets less in the winter (but it is extra taxing-enough at the shorter distances and lower speeds that I find the lower volume in the winter doesn't seem to decrease my conditioning). I pick up extra weight training in the winter (what cardio I do in the winter is also less competitive, and I can afford to be fatigued from the gym). I can't stand hamster wheels (foot or bike) - I considered getting a trainer last late summer-fall (broken collarbone + winter would be coming by the time I would recover so possibly extra usage), and still didn't.
  • BrianSharpeBrianSharpe Member Posts: 9,100 Member Member Posts: 9,100 Member
    ehju0901 wrote: »
    Some of us are crazy enough to run / snowshoe / x-country ski / walk all winter long and it gets down to -40 here occasionally too.. it's all in the layering.

    sqjp64y5sq2x.jpg



    That looks painful!

    LOL, nowhere as bad as it looks. The balaclava is reserved for days that are -30 or colder and with the right layering you can be quite comfortable (the trick is dressing as if it's a bit warmer than it is so that when you warm up you don't overheat. The hardest thing for me was finding gloves that were just right.
  • littlegreenparrot1littlegreenparrot1 Member Posts: 546 Member Member Posts: 546 Member
    The gym doesn't really make me anxious, but it makes me tremendously bored.

    Audio books and podcasts help, then I'm in my own little bubble and everyone else is essentially irrelevant. It might be worth a try.
  • spr931spr931 Member Posts: 58 Member Member Posts: 58 Member
    Hi fellow Minnesotan!
    Taking up a winter sport really helps. I used to hate winter most of my life until a few years ago I learned how to ski. Both downhill and cross country. I like the downhill version more. Now I actually dont mind winter.
    The icicle face reminds me of the short stint I did as a mail carrier in Northern MN. Man thats brutal. But As long as I kept moving and layered up I was actually fine. Finding the right gloves that would let me still manipulate the mail while keeping my fingers warm was a struggle.
    When I'm skiing I dont really wear a ton of clothing because I get hot. Now the only complaint is downhil ski boots. My toes are usually the first body part that gets cold.
  • phoenixrb35phoenixrb35 Member Posts: 23 Member Member Posts: 23 Member
    ehju0901 wrote: »
    Hey everyone, so I live in Minnesota where temps can reach -40 degrees in the winter which means I obviously can't get outside for exercise. I'm a pretty strict cardio fan and I enjoy long stretches of fast paced walking. I feel like winter is going to be tough on me as it forces me to use the equipment in the gym (going to the gym gives me anxiety, but I know there is no real way around it in my case).

    Any tips to stay motivated or experiences that might help?

    Are gyms even open?
  • phoenixrb35phoenixrb35 Member Posts: 23 Member Member Posts: 23 Member
    ehju0901 wrote: »
    Hey everyone, so I live in Minnesota where temps can reach -40 degrees in the winter which means I obviously can't get outside for exercise. I'm a pretty strict cardio fan and I enjoy long stretches of fast paced walking. I feel like winter is going to be tough on me as it forces me to use the equipment in the gym (going to the gym gives me anxiety, but I know there is no real way around it in my case).

    Any tips to stay motivated or experiences that might help?

    One tip is to wear comfortable hiking shoes to avoid slips and falls as you go on fast paced walks when it snows. I like to get in some cardio too weekly through jogging, but when it snows, I prefer long walks at least one to three times a week in addition to other body weight exercises that I do at home.
  • ehju0901ehju0901 Member Posts: 216 Member Member Posts: 216 Member
    ehju0901 wrote: »
    Hey everyone, so I live in Minnesota where temps can reach -40 degrees in the winter which means I obviously can't get outside for exercise. I'm a pretty strict cardio fan and I enjoy long stretches of fast paced walking. I feel like winter is going to be tough on me as it forces me to use the equipment in the gym (going to the gym gives me anxiety, but I know there is no real way around it in my case).

    Any tips to stay motivated or experiences that might help?

    Are gyms even open?

    Our gyms are open, just at limited capacity.
  • phoenixrb35phoenixrb35 Member Posts: 23 Member Member Posts: 23 Member
    ehju0901 wrote: »
    ehju0901 wrote: »
    Hey everyone, so I live in Minnesota where temps can reach -40 degrees in the winter which means I obviously can't get outside for exercise. I'm a pretty strict cardio fan and I enjoy long stretches of fast paced walking. I feel like winter is going to be tough on me as it forces me to use the equipment in the gym (going to the gym gives me anxiety, but I know there is no real way around it in my case).

    Any tips to stay motivated or experiences that might help?

    Are gyms even open?

    Our gyms are open, just at limited capacity.

    Awesome! :) I live in New York, but I've gotten so used to working out outside of the gym because of the pandemic that I hadn't checked whether gyms are even open here, but I just googled it, and it looks like they're open in New York too. Best wishes!
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