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Fitness

Bad Weather Workout Swaps

Keep your fitness forecast bright with these workouts that get you moving no matter what it’s like outside.

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 Weather Forecast is Cold and Rainy


For stay-dry alternatives, we spoke with Seattle-based DVD star and gym owner Kari Anderson and Portland, Oregon based fitness writer Sarah Bowen Shea. They both have to deal with more than 150 rainy days a year.

 

And your go-to workout is walking...


Go mall walking. Many malls open early so you can do laps before shoppers arrive, says Anderson. Some malls even have groups that meet regularly. Call the business office at your local mall for more information.

 

And 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.

 

And 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.

 

And 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.

 

And 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!”

 

And 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, such as Anderson’s Sweat Express II.

 

And 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.

 

When the Weather Forecast Is Snow and Ice


For suggestions to stay active in the winter, we went to American Council on Exercise spokesperson Chris Freytag, who lives in Minneapolis where winter temps average 17 degrees, and 2010 IDEA Fitness Instructor of the Year, Carol Murphy of Rochester, NY, the snowiest US city.

 

And your go-to workout is walking…


Strap on snowshoes and head to a trail or golf course. If you can walk you can snowshoe, says Freytag. It gets your heart rate up so you won’t mind the cold, and exploring the great outdoors can boost your mood.

 

And 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.

 

And 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.

 

And your go-to workout is Zumba…


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

 

When the Weather Forecast Is Hazy, Hot, and Humid


To beat the heat, here are suggestions from Exercise TV trainer Jessica Smith, who lives in Miami, the second hottest city in the US and one of the most humid.
 

And your go-to workout is walking…


Do an indoor walking DVD. “All you need is a little space in your living room,” says Smith. The routines are basic but not boring. You can even choose the mileage—from 1- to 5-mile routines—and set your own pace. Check out www.collagevideo.com for dozens of options.

 

And your go-to workout is running…


Try water running. Hop in a pool and run laps in the shallow end or use a flotation vest or belt to log miles in the deep end. Added toning benefit: Water provides 800 times more resistance than running on land.

 

And your go-to workout is riding a bike…


Get a trainer. Not a person; the metal kind of trainer that easily transforms an outdoor bike into a stationary cycle. Basic models start at about $100. To really simulate an outdoor ride, set up a fan to blow on you and pop in a Virtual Active DVD ($19.95 or $7.95 to download, vafitness.com). The stunning footage of some of North America’s most scenic roads will inspire you. “Plus, you don’t have to worry about traffic!” Smith says.

 

And your go-to workout is boot camp class...


Pop in a boot camp DVD. You can find a variety at collagevideo.com, including 10 Minute Solution: Ultimate Bootcamp, featuring Smith. Each “boot camp” is only 10 minutes, so if you’re short on time or just tired, you can do just one or two of the five routines.

 

And your go-to workout is playing tennis…


Have a virtual match. Whether you have Xbox, PlayStation, or Wii, you can practice your backhand and serve right in your family room. Invite your tennis partner over to join you for more fun.

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