These unique and unorthodox cardio exercises outside the gym may be just what you need to keep up your cardio routine in the depths of winter. They probably won’t be the most comfortable exercises, but, let’s face it, if you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got! Be open-minded and give these winter “cardio without a gym” strategies a try.
The weather has gotten cold and many people have decided to skip the cardio exercises. A lot of people settle for a little bit of weight gain during the winter and claim they’re bulking. But not you! Your winter cardio strategy is different.
You’re relentless. You’ve got a mission. You’re dead set on accomplishing the goals you’ve set. You’re not going to wait around until the first of the year. You’re going to attack your winter cardio with the same tenacity that you have all year.
These five winter cardio exercises won’t have you set foot inside a gym, but they’ll give you the edge you need to get ahead this winter.
1. Cold walks
Cold exposure has some surprising effects on fat loss. Exposing yourself to cold weather to the point of shivering can actually help you shed pounds of body fat. While not the most comfortable route to fat loss, it has certainly proven itself to be effective.
When the body gets cold, it needs to increase its internal temperature. It does so by burning stored sources of energy (a.k.a. fat). So a moderately paced stroll out in the winter elements could help you to burn significant amounts of body fat. And isn’t the primary reason for doing cardio to burn fat?
If you have the courage to embrace the elements and sacrifice a little bit of warmth and comfort, you’ll be greatly rewarded, my friend.
If you find yourself near the mountains, skiing and/or snowboarding could arguably be the most fun form of cardio exercise. Hitting the slopes is a great workout that really targets both the large muscle groups and the smaller muscle groups in the legs.
Skiing and snowboarding also enable you to work on your stability, as these activities require a lot of core activation. I wouldn’t be surprised if you find yourself having a leaner, tighter, and stronger core after skiing or snowboarding consistently. As a bonus, the cold exposure you’ll get will benefit your fat loss efforts.
No need to fight the elements, or even the traffic, with this form of cardio. If you live in a high-rise building, you have one of the best cardio workouts available just steps away from your home! Running or walking up stairs is a great cardio workout without any need for a gym.
It’s much better than simply running or walking on level ground because you’re incorporating more leg musculature into your exercise, specifically the glutes and quads. Half an hour of jogging up stairs can burn almost 600 calories! You’ll feel fantastic after a calorie burn like that and you’ll have a great sense of fulfilment upon completion.
These are certainly not for the beginner, but plyometrics – jumping-based exercise – serves as one of the most intense forms of exercise out there. Your heart will race and you’ll feel accomplished after completing a plyometric workout.
Plyometric workouts burn about 600 calories in approximately 15-20 minutes – significantly less time than the stairs. Plyometric training will also keep your metabolism elevated well after you’re done with your workout. You’ll burn calories at a higher rate all day after completing one of these workouts.
5. Jumping rope
Simple, yet oh so effective. Your cardiovascular system, along with your calves, will thank you for jumping rope. Be sure to throw in all the variations you can think of, such as single-leg, double-leg, and alternating. Bring out the kid in you and get lost in the simplicity and difficulty of jumping rope.
Now you’re equipped with five different forms of cardio exercise to keep strengthening your mind and body without setting foot in a gym. If you’ve never tried cardio without a gym before, winter is the perfect time to start. Most of these won’t even seem like exercise because you’ll be having a blast – and, ultimately, that’s what it’s all about. Find something you enjoy that gets you results, and have at it! Keep working hard, my friend!