Winter Exercise: 5 Low-Cost Ways to Burn Calories

Many people sign up for a gym membership each New Year. In fact, NBC reports that “get healthy” is the most popular New Year’s resolution and 62 million people searched the term on Google last year. After all, winter exercise is top of mind at the time of year when you tend to put on extra pounds, as Livestrong.com notes. But many of those memberships go to waste as resolutions melt away. Luckily, it’s easier than ever to work out for little to no cost.

Here are five ways to get your winter exercise on without sweating your finances.

1. Download Workout Apps

If you’re looking for inspiration, there are innumerable apps that can help you stick to fitness goals. The Johnson & Johnson Official 7 Minute Workout app is ideal if you’re short on time. Its easy exercises mean you can squeeze in a full-body workout at the office, home or hotel. Other apps, like those from Runtastic, allow you to focus on a specific exercise, like push-ups or squats.

If you have a hard time committing, financial reward-based apps may incentivize you to stick to plan. Apps like Pact and HealthyWage put your money on the line to meet challenges and goals. Alternatively, Charity Miles helps you earn money for causes you care about with every walk, run or bike ride.

2. Search Online Videos

YouTube has a neverending supply of free workout videos. For example, there are hundreds of videos on the BodyRock channel, which require little to no equipment. The BeFiT channel features full-length videos from celebrity trainers, while Yoga with Adriene offers up yoga routines for a range of skill levels. These videos are ideal for winter exercise since you don’t have to stray too far from comfy couches and cozy blankets.

3. Get Outdoors

It’s true that you burn more calories in cold weather as your body works harder to keep itself warm, as noted by The Atlantic. But it’s not enough to stand outside for a few minutes and call it a day. Of course, shoveling snow burns calories, but a better way to enjoy snow is with winter exercises like cross-country skiing or snowshoeing. Minimize costs by renting equipment from a local sports store.

4. Join a Team

Just because you’re not in school anymore doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy team sports. Search online for adult leagues in your area for sports like indoor soccer, racquetball or basketball. The group aspect provides more motivation to show up to practices and games.

Alternatively, if you’re not a sports person but like accountability, try showing up to a November Project workout. The movement began as a way to stay fit during winter, but groups now meet up year-round in cities across the country.

5. Sign Up for Freebies

If you’re craving a more formalized workout routine, not all gyms require a $150 monthly payment. Many, like Crunch Fitness and the YMCA, plus studios like SoulCycle and CorePower Yoga, offer free or discounted trials. Trying before you buy allows you to see if the community and exercise offerings are right for you.

For more freebies, look to businesses hosting in-store classes. Lululemon offers complimentary yoga, many REI stores have run clubs and fun bike rides and Athleta locations offer free classes ranging from barre to boot camp.

Consistency is key for winter exercise. If you don’t already have a routine, start with some free options and set daily goals for yourself. Invest in equipment slowly as you develop habits and know what items you need to complement your routine. You may find “never paying for a gym again” is your new resolution and all that money you save on a membership can go toward something bigger and better.

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