5 Creative Ways To Feel The Burn This Winter

Break out of a winter fitness rut with these exercise routines


Summer athletes often struggle to get through the cold or snowy months of winter. With limited exercise options and the dark days, it can be tough to get motivated to do anything active. Staying home with a good book and a warm beverage may be very, very tempting, but no matter what type of athlete you are, what sport you enjoy during the summer, or how much motivation you can muster, here are five fabulous ways to break out of your fitness rut and feel the burn all winter long.

  1. Sweat It Out In Spin Class
    If you only have an hour and can't be bothered to figure out how, exactly, to get the most out of your time, saddle up in a spin class. The benefits of spinning are so many that it's probably easier to tell you how much fun a class can be, but that's just a reason to get you through the door. Spinning is great for everyone because you work at your own pace, and have complete control of how much resistance you have on your bike, yet your whole group will be cycling through the same workout. You'll build cardiovascular strength and endurance, burn hundred's of calories, and get your interval workout done all in one well-designed class of 45 minutes to an hour. Plus, you'll hardly notice how hard you are working because you'll be focused on the rhythmic beats blasting out of the sound system, and your instructor's cheerful and sometimes demanding instruction.

    Some of the latest classes, like Flywheel, allow you to track all your ride data and even compete with others in the class by putting your stats on the large leaderboard screen that shows how you stack up against your class competition. If you thrive on competition, this makes ever class a race. Who needs more motivation than that?
    Read More: How To Use A Spin Bike

  1. Hang Out at a Climbing Gym
    Climbing in a gym is the ultimate forearm burn. If you want to build upper body strength and endurance, work on your flexibility and stay absolutely focused on what you are doing, head to a climbing gym. Rock climbers, like gymnasts, have pretty amazing body weight to strength ratios for a good reason. Hauling yourself up a vertical face with only your arms and feet requires agility, strength and a whole lot of mental fitness.

    Climbing gyms often have open house nights for beginners, and it's fairly easy to learn the basic technique and get certified to use the ropes and to belay, which is a basically how climbers 'spot' one another as they climb. If you just want to give it a try, find a gym that will let you 'boulder,' and just climb the wall a few feet off the ground, with crash pads below should you need them.
    Read More: Training Tips for Rock Climbing

  1. Dive Into Master's Swimming
    It may be freezing outside, but the water's fine at the indoor pools. There's something about diving into a swimming pool that can make you feel like a kid again, but that fantasy evaporates as soon as the coach gathers the group for the overview of the daily workout. It may sound intimidating, but "Masters Swimming" simply means you are over age 18, and these programs are a great way to swim with a group, get instruction, and enjoy some healthy competition.

    Swimming works just about every muscle in the body, and the gentle nature of the workout is perfect for those with joint issues, who don't want to give up intense exercise. Master swimming can be as competitive or as relaxed as you want it, and the coach will often tailor the workout to give you the boost you need.
    Read More: Benefits of Swimming

  2. Stay On Your Toes With Racquetball
    Racquetball will build your speed and agility with its fast pace and small space. Each point will keep you guessing and sprinting a few feet at a time. For seasoned players, the game is as physical as it is mental, and you will be so focused on each point that your mind will rarely wander. Unlike cycling or running, you need to pay attention to every second of the game, and time simply flies as you feel the burn.
  1. Embrace CrossFit
    If you want to feel the burn like you've never felt before, join a local CrossFit Gym. Your drill sergeant, I mean instructor, will make sure you give everything you have every time you step foot in the gym. Slacking is not an option in these boot camp style classes that incorporate powerlifting, plyometric jumping, sprints, pull ups and more crazy moves than you can probably imagine. Tractor tire flipping, anyone?

    The objective of CrossFit is to perform varied functional movements at high intensity and then to change them up constantly. If you aren't familiar with the exercises, it's recommended that you join a gym to learn how to safely do the workouts. The original CrossFit posts the WOD (workout of the day) online for those who want to follow along at home. Yes, it's intense, and you will be well-served to pay attention to any warning signs of injury, but if you want to get fit fast, CrossFit may be the ideal way to feel the burn.

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