Fitness & workouts

Bad weather workout swaps

Keep your fitness forecast bright with these workouts that get you moving, whatever the weather.

The weather outside may be a bit grim, but it doesn't have to put a damper on your fitness routine. Keep the momentum going with these tips and swaps!

When the forecast says cold and rainy

For stay-dry alternatives, WW spoke with DVD star and gym owner Kari Anderson, and fitness writer Sarah Bowen Shea, both from the US. They both have to deal with more than 150 rainy days a year, so it's safe to say they empathise with our plight here in the UK!

If your go-to workout is walking...

Ramp up your walk on the treadmill. If it's raining so hard that anoraks and wellies just won't cut it, head to the gym and go for a walk on the treadmill. You can set the pace and the incline to mimic your usual walk, or push things up a gear.

If your go-to workout is running...

Take an indoor cycling class. Indoor cycling can give you an equally intense lower body workout, says Shea, co-author of Run Like a Mother. The non-impact workout will also give your joints a break, and a competitive class setting might motivate you to push yourself harder.

If your go-to workout is cycling…

Lift weights. Cycling is a lower body workout, and many cyclists don’t train their arms, shoulders, chest, and back as often as they should, says Shea. Rainy days are a perfect opportunity to mix up your routine. Grab a set of dumbbells and do some upper body moves such as front and side arm raises, curls, and kickbacks.

If your go-to workout is swimming…

Do Pilates. It's also a total-body toning workout and gives you a similar elongating feeling. Search online to find YouTube tutorials, or livestream a Pilates workout from our Healthy Body Healthy Mind group in Connect.

If your go-to workout is boot camp…

Create a home version and recruit trainees. Mimic the moves from your regular class and use exercise equipment, chairs, and steps in your home to create stations. Then invite a friend, your spouse, or kids to join you. “You become the coach,” says Anderson. “So you work harder!”

If your go-to workout is playing tennis…

Take a step class or other exercise or dance class that features quick footwork or speed and agility drills. All the side-to-side movement will enhance your game. Livestream Club Fit or Dancefit workouts from our Healthy Body Healthy Mind group in Connect.

If your go-to workout is playing golf…

Do yoga. The poses build strength and flexibility especially in your abs, back, and hips - key muscles used to swing a golf club. Practise it regularly and you could improve your game.

When the forecast says snow and ice

The snow is beautiful but not particularly conducive to exercise. Here are a few swaps to try instead:

If your go-to workout is walking…

You can still walk! Just remember to wear sensible shoes with plenty of grip, wrap up warm and be on the lookout for slippery patches of ice. If the cold is too much to bear and surfaces are dangerously icy, head to the gym and walk on the treadmill instead.

If your go-to workout is running…

Do intervals on a treadmill. Alternate short bouts - 30 to 60 seconds - of fast or uphill running with slightly shorter recovery intervals at a slower pace and no incline. “It’s a mind game to prevent boredom,” says Freytag.

If your go-to workout is lifting weights…

Shovel snow. Bend your knees like you’re squatting as you scoop up snow. Combined with lifting and throwing, you can get a total body workout while you clear your sidewalk.

If your go-to workout is Zumba…

Just dance. Crank up your favorite tunes and groove around the house!