It’s been proven that even regular exercisers will cut down on their workouts when winter comes. The Journal of Sport and Health Science reports that ice, snow and rain significantly impact one’s decision to head outdoors for some exercise. But you didn’t need to hear it from some science journal: everybody knows that working out is just more pleasant when the sun is out. Even going to the gym feels easier when you don’t have to battle icy roads or heavy rain to get there. However, the winter time might be when you need exercise the most. Those endorphins you get from working out can help in the battle against Seasonal Affective Disorder (the symptoms of which we cover here). And, on a more superficial note, nobody likes to feel like there’s a mad dash to drop a few pounds when crop top season comes back around.
Winter can feel like a time when working out is out of pocket because those pricey, high-end gyms offer all of the right things to get you to a workout class – like gorgeous Jacuzzis and saunas. But if you are on a budget, there are some pretty fun and effective ways to get a workout in this winter.
Go Indoor Rock Climbing
If you’re serious about staying in shape when the temperature drops, you need to know about rock climbing because it helps you burn between 500 and 900 calories per hour. Indoor rock climbing is perfect for those who either need a way to continue their love of rock climbing once the temperatures drop or those looking to try something new that gets your adrenaline pumping. If you are in the Fort Lauderdale, Florida be sure to check out Coral Cliffs – the first queer Black-woman-owned rock climbing gym in the country. Melanin Basecamp did a write-up on the incredible story of how one Vancouver-based climber raised over $100,000 during the pandemic to save the gym, which is still open and thriving. Those in Denver, CO should check out Beast Fingers Climbing, which is also Black-owned and offers classes for beginners, advanced climbers and youth. Wherever you are in the country, you can find a climbing gym near you on this list provided by Indoor Climbing.
Get A Mini Trampoline
If you’d like to find a fun and effective way to work out at home without needing to set up a full home gym, invest in a mini trampoline. This one from Target is $49 and supports up to 250 pounds and this one from Amazon is $52 and has a cardio training bar. It’s hard not to feel happy when you’re jumping on a trampoline, but all along, you’re getting a sneaky good workout in. In fact, you can burn as many calories in 10 minutes of jumping on the trampoline as you do in 30 minutes of jogging, and you can burn up to 1,000 calories an hour on a trampoline. Just be sure to use it either outdoors or in a room with enough ceiling clearance – but exercise trampolines are not as bouncy as children’s ones.
Take Black-led Virtual Yoga Classes With A Purpose
If you’d like to enjoy yoga from your living room while supporting a yoga center doing some great things, take one of Dharma Yoga’s virtual classes. Founded by Sonya Enchill, Dharma Yoga offers virtual classes for all levels. The classes are donation-based, and the center uses your donations for some pretty incredible initiatives including funding their yoga and meditation program for at-risk youth, their Recovery Yoga program which combines the 12-step program with yoga and meditation to assist those in addiction recovery and their Project Remember, which provides yoga and meditation guidance to victims of domestic violence.
Get A Trill Fit Membership
Trill Fit is based out of Boston but offers many of their classes online such as their Sculpting, Cardio Dancing, Ass & Abs and beyond. They also offer live online classes for those who like the intensity of interacting with a trainer. This Black-owned boutique studio offers monthly memberships for $40 that you can cancel at any time. Looking to inspire and help other Black women aspiring to be fitness trainers, Trill Fitt has its Instructors of Color Scholarship program, offering scholarships that help subsidize the cost of training certifications to women of color.
If you want to unleash the child inside of you and there’s snow in your area, don’t forget about the incredibly fun and cardio-intense activity of sledding. Each time you finish a ride, you have to walk all of the way back up the hill to do another one, but the thrill of speeding down the hill is motivation enough. And by the way, as if walking uphill isn’t enough – it’s even more strenuous in the snow. You burn nearly 500 calories an hour trekking uphill on fresh powder (and more if you are towing a child uphill with you). If you don’t have a sled or don’t want to buy one because you’re short on storage space, there are items you probably already have at home you can use. Try using a baking sheet, a laundry basket, an air mattress, a garbage can lid or even a kitty litter box. This activity is completely free and lets you lean into the winter weather instead of trying to escape it.
Join A Hike With Outdoor Afro
In their mission statement, Outdoor Afro describes themselves as a group that “celebrates and inspires Black connections and leadership in nature.” They have volunteer and donor programs to support their projects like the Swimmership, a pay-what-you-can program that teaches attendees of all ages in the Black community how to swim. But if you just want to hike somewhere beautiful with like-minded friends, join in on one of their hikes. They have branches across the country. Find a map of their groups here. Join a group and find out about local meetups organizing hiking, fishing, kayaking, biking and swimming trips.
Use Home Items For Resistance Training
Strength and resistance training are an important part of an all-body workout. But unless you’re a body builder, investing in all of the equipment can get too expensive. Luckily, there are a lot of items you likely already have around your home that you can use for strength and resistance training. Two jugs of laundry detergent can make for great arm weights. Two large water jugs can have the same effect. Fill a backpack with heavy items and attach it to your chest for a front weight during workouts like push-ups. Grab a rope and wrap it around a tree and use it just as you would a resistance band.
You can burn between 600 to 800 calories per hour ice skating and winter is the perfect time of year to take advantage of rinks in your area. Like with movie theaters, many skating rinks offer discount pricing during off-hours. In some cases, if you’re committed to skating regularly, you can buy a season pass that will yield great discounts per-session instead of paying each time you go. Many skate rinks offer skate rentals for $7 to $10, or if you think you could really get into the sport, you can look at verified used sporting goods sites like Play It Again Sports or SidelineWap for refurbished, used skates that are in good condition.