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 frightful, 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, who live in Seattle and Portland, Oregon in the US (respectively). 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.

RELATED: How to wake up your walk


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.

RELATED: 7 great reasons to start cycling


If your go-to workout is riding a bike…

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.

RELATED: A beginner's guide to the weights room


If your go-to workout is swimming…

Do Pilates. It, too, is a total-body toning workout and it gives you a similar elongating feeling. Search online to find a variety of DVDs.

RELATED: Why Pilates is the perfect workout


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 classmate, your spouse, or kids to join you. “You become the coach,” says Anderson. “So you work harder!”

RELATED: Try these home workouts


If your go-to workout is playing tennis…

Take a step class or other exercise/dance class that features quick footwork or speed and agility drills. All the side-to-side movement will enhance your game. You can also look for similar workouts on DVD.

SUCCESS STORY: Julie - how I found the confidence to dance, and lose weight too!


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. Practice it regularly and you could improve your game.

RELATED: Is yoga the missing link?


When the forecast says snow and ice

Winter is coming! 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 go walking! 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 wear and surfaces are dangerously icy, head to the gym and walk on the treadmill instead.

RELATED: 10 ways to boost your walk


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.

RELATED: How to become a runner


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.

RELATED: 6 reasons to start lifting weights


If your go-to workout is Zumba…

Just dance. Crank up your favorite tunes and groove around the house, says Murphy.

RELATED: Stay well in winter