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Working Out in Winter Climates

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  • NorthCascadesNorthCascades Member Posts: 10,663 Member Member Posts: 10,663 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.

    Look into YakTrax and Microspikes. They're like car tire chains for your feet. I have a friend who does trail runs in YakTrax all winter.
  • kshama2001kshama2001 Member Posts: 24,791 Member Member Posts: 24,791 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?

    I get anxiety the first time or two going to new places, but after than I'm generally ok. I've also found working with a trainer for a few sessions at a new gym is very useful to get me accustomed to the place.

    That said, I vastly prefer my cardio outdoors, all winter long, but have no recollection of being outdoors at temps that low. (Might have happened when I was stationed at Plattsburg AFB, but that was too long ago.)

    Also, how often does it get as low as -40? My goal is to walk outside all winter long except for on rainy days, and that gives me plenty of days. On rainy days I strength train and/or practice yoga.
  • briscogunbriscogun Member Posts: 1,049 Member Member Posts: 1,049 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?

    I'm in Wisconsin so I feel your pain!

    We got a used treadmill that was in great condition from like Craigslist or some such place a while back for like $75 (I think it was like an $800-$900 unit new). Guy just wanted it gone. So now I can walk/run during the other 10 months of the year when its not warm outside up here in the midwest...
  • huntersvonneguthuntersvonnegut Member Posts: 1,176 Member Member Posts: 1,176 Member
    I totally agree with BrainSharpe. Layering.
  • Diatonic12Diatonic12 Member Posts: 32,351 Member Member Posts: 32,351 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.


    Absolutely, Brian. Wind howling at 60 mph licks and -40 below zero. I snowshoe, ski and still have to do all of the uzhe outdoor chores. Layering works.

    vo1rbkv5glcb.png


  • mgalsf12mgalsf12 Member Posts: 329 Member Member Posts: 329 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?

    I lived in Northern Minnesota for 21 years. I was in my best shape in the winter; ice skating, snow shoeing, cross country skiing, winter camping and hiking.
  • VeryKatieVeryKatie Member Posts: 5,838 Member Member Posts: 5,838 Member
    If you can afford the right clothing and gear, you can run outside if you want to. I'm an 8 hour drive north of you. My dad always ran outside, everyday, all my life growing up. There are things you can put on your shoes, balaclava for your face, layering so you can unzip when you get too hot mid run.

    I have very fond memories of the icicles that would form on his mustache haha.

    But i also like the suggestion of skating or (cross country) skiing. Though skating can be hard sometimes if its a bad ice year.
    edited September 2020
  • 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.

    Look into YakTrax and Microspikes. They're like car tire chains for your feet. I have a friend who does trail runs in YakTrax all winter.

    Thank you! <3
  • kristingjertsenkristingjertsen Member Posts: 238 Member Member Posts: 238 Member
    NC resident so our winters are nowhere near yours. On really cold or rainy days, I do workouts I find on Youtube. Walking workouts(Leslie Sansone), pilates, cardio, yoga, weight training. We also have a simple home gym set up. Exercise bike, Treadmill, weights of various sizes, a mirror, and TV. Looking at exercise equipment (second hand). My absolute favorite exercise after two back surgeries is swimming which is not possible in the winter months. I have to go to a gym for that. I go at off hours (1 to 3 people in the lap swim area. More than that, I leave the pool). Dream would be a swim spa, but definitely out of our budget. So mask, off hours, lots of handwashing. Tradeoff I am willing to make.
  • 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.

    Look into YakTrax and Microspikes. They're like car tire chains for your feet. I have a friend who does trail runs in YakTrax all winter.

    I just picked up a pair on Amazon and can't wait to try these out on long walks this winter coming soon!
  • spr931spr931 Member Posts: 58 Member Member Posts: 58 Member
    mgalsf12 wrote: »

    I lived in Northern Minnesota for 21 years. I was in my best shape in the winter; ice skating, snow shoeing, cross country skiing, winter camping and hiking.

    I'm just outside the twin cities and Its nice to live close to ski hills and I just learned theres a couple cross country trails nearby. I hope to find some of my own xc skis this winter so I don't have to rent them every time I go. I have all my own downhill stuff but no xc stuff 😄

  • Megan_smartiepants1970Megan_smartiepants1970 Member, Premium Posts: 23,707 Member Member, Premium Posts: 23,707 Member
    I use to walk the mall early in the mornings ...maybe that could be an option
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