Practical Ways to Increase Movement in the Winter

Last week I talked about the rhythm of the winter season and how our instinct is to nestle down in our “dens.” On average, many people’s activity levels do decrease during the cold months, but it is still vitally important to make sure that you keep a good foundation of movement. Besides the benefit for your physical health, it is also one of the best ways to fight the winter blues!

So when it’s cold and dark for a large portion of the day, what are some practical ways that you can stay moving?

  • Find an indoor workout that you enjoy. This can be anything from a YouTube video (I love Yoga with Adriene, and there are tons of other workout videos available for free as well!) You can also do strength training with your own body weight by doing the Primal Essential Movements – squats, planks, pull-ups, and push-ups. Together, these four basic movements will work every area of your body!

  • Don’t underestimate microworkouts! Short bouts of movement can really add up to have a great cumulative effect over the course of a day. If you aren’t familiar with them, you can read more about that here (

  • Find a workout buddy! This will help with accountability, and the social aspect also makes it more enjoyable.

  • If you have a gym membership, winter is the perfect time to use it – especially if the social aspect is your jam. Go for workouts or sign up for a class. The same applies for yoga studios!

  • Move more throughout your day by parking further away in the parking lot, taking the stairs over the elevator, doing extra laps around the store while you are shopping (as time allows). If you are cleaning or doing chores at home, make extra trips up and down the stairs or to other rooms. This is even better if you blast some upbeat music!

  • Invest in clothing that will keep you warm outside. Layers are best, and wool is a great insulator. However, whatever you have that you can layer to trap heat will work! If your legs often get cold, layer on the bottom as well. Don’t forget to pay special attention to your feet, hands, and ears. If you know you have something to wear that will keep you comfortable, it isn’t as daunting to go out.

  • Take advantage of the nice, sunny days to take hikes or walks.

  • If you have kids in your life, go outside and play with them! If there is snow, go sledding, build snowmen, or have a snowball fight! This also applies if you have fur children as well! My dog absolutely loves playing in the snow.

One of our trained human behaviors is to underestimate the benefits of something if it isn’t big – applied to exercise, this can looks like “If my workout isn’t at least an hour long, it is pointless” or the familiar concept of “no pain, no gain.” I would like to challenge you to reframe the way you look at movement this week. Celebrate when you move, and see the benefit in even the small things. Your body (and your mind) will thank you for it!