Creative Ways to Fit a Workout into That Winter 9-5

It isn’t always easy to pull yourself out of bed to make that courageous trip to the gym — especially in the middle of winter.

Yet, maintaining an active lifestyle and healthy workout routine is essential to your overall sense of wellbeing. It may be cold outside, but that doesn’t stop you from needing a bit of activity in your life, too.

Whether you’re looking to get that winter body summer-ready (or maybe just spring-ready?) or merely want to fulfill your New Year’s resolution to get in better shape, you can try incorporating some of these creative ways to fit a workout in into your daily routine — even with a 9-to-5 job in the middle of winter.

Bust out the Speakers

The thought of running on a treadmill might not exactly leave you smiling, but dancing in your bedroom to your favorite tunes just may.
Who says you need to venture out to the gym or lace up your running shoes to work up a good sweat? In fact, a 30-minute dance session burns around the same amount of calories as jogging — 130 to 250 calories, to be exact.

You don’t have to sign up for dance sessions to get your body spring-ready, either. Just move your furniture to the side, set up your Bluetooth speakers and put on a playlist with your favorite jams. Before you know it, you’ll be moving your body in no time — no gym equipment necessary.

Break Out the Vacuum

Who says you have to wait until spring to do a bit of housecleaning? You may already incorporate light housework into your daily schedule, so why not add a bit of exercise to this routine, too?

Various cleaning activities, such as mopping, sweeping and washing the floor, help you burn more than 100 calories in just under 30 minutes. Make sure you scrub vigorously and give cleaning your full effort, so you can work up a sweat while making your home spotless in the process. 

Get Creative at Work

Your 9-5 experience can even be an opportunity to exercise if you get creative enough about it! There are plenty of quick, easy exercises you can do at work without disturbing the peace or totally distracting you from what you’re working on.

Beyond the well-known “take the stairs” workout-at-work tactic, there are other random ways to use your office like it’s a gym! A few include armchair pushups at your desk, leg bicycling while sitting down at your desk, and even using a water bottle like a mini weight! If you get imaginative enough, you can find many small ways to make your workday more physically productive — and working out strengthens and refreshes those mental muscles too!

Turn Commercial Breaks into Mini Workout Sessions

After a long day at the office, you may just want to come home, fall into your sofa and watch your favorite TV series or episodes on repeat. What if I told you that you could indulge in a few episodes of The Office while getting fit, too?

Every show has breaks, and if you’re like most people, you may just casually scroll through your phone or munch on a snack during the commercials. Rather than using this time mindlessly, try incorporating simple workout sessions into these breaks instead.

Opt for the couch potato workout by doing several reps of pushups, side crunches and jumping jacks in between commercial breaks. Many commercial breaks are roughly three minutes each, so one episode can leave you performing a complete 15- to 20-minute workout with ease.

Lend a Helping Hand

Not everyone is fond of the idea of spending countless hours on the elliptical or a bike, but most people would say lending a helping hand is always something they’re willing to do. Now, imagine doing good for others while getting your daily workout in as well.

Volunteering is a great way to keep you on your feet while providing others with invaluable assistance in the process. Whether you decide to help out at your local soup kitchen, or offer to walk dogs at your local shelter, volunteering is a wonderful way to fill your free time with feel-good activities that ultimately help you look good by shedding calories, too.

Work With the Season — Not Against It

So it may not exactly be the ideal temperature for taking a dip in an outdoor pool or playing a game of football outside with your friends, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of winter-oriented activities you can enjoy in the colder weather, either.

If you’re not fond of the idea of skiing down the slopes or going snow tubing, don’t discount winter activities entirely. Just playing in the snow with your family can burn between 200 and 300 calories in 30 minutes alone.

In your free time, bundle up and hit the great outdoors while building a snowman or doing a few ice skating sessions along the way. You’ll burn calories, and you’ll have tons of fun doing it, too.

The temperature outside may continue to drop, but that doesn’t mean your motivation to live an active lifestyle has to, too. Remember to just keep moving and try to pick up a few creative fitness routines along the way!

Top photo: Bigstock

About Kate Harveston (10 Articles)
Kate Harveston is an online journalist with a Bachelors degree in English. She really enjoys writing about feminism and women's issues, but has written on a wide variety of other topics as well. For more of her work, visit her at Only Slightly Biased.