It’s no secret winter in the midwest is COLD! Thankfully, in the Chicagoland area we’ve had a late start to winter. Our first snow happened days after Christmas and otherwise the weather was bearable. Now, the winds are becoming increasingly difficult to withstand, the sidewalks are coated in ice, and the snow is piling up. I love being outdoors and going for long walks as I take in the sunshine. I’m trying to find ways to stay active during the colder months— especially when it’s too slippery/ cold to be outdoors.

most important:

Create A Routine Around Fitness Goals

Before I approach fitness and activity, I like to sit down and think about my goals. Having a longterm plan is a great way to help you decide on the best ways to keep your body moving and inspire you to workout on the days you want to crawl back under the covers. Once you have identified your goals, I recommend connecting with a professional to help you safely achieve them. There are knowledgable coaches to help you do so on a budget. I recommend Mike Sell and Lori Verta.

Ask Yourself:

  • What is it I want to achieve?

  • Do you want to lose weight? Bulk up? Increase muscle definition? Are you training for anything specific like a race or a hike?

When possible, get outside!

While most days are unbearably cold, I’ve learned a few things and discovered items to help me layer up and spend the rare sunshine filled days outdoors. My sweet pup, Ollivander (often referred to as “Oliver” or“Vandy)”, LOVES the snow so he finds every excuse to delay our walk. He sniffs every tree, rolls around in the snow, and has even started catching snowflakes. It’s adorable! Winter isn’t only hard on me, but it is on him too, which is why It’s so important for me to take him on at least one longer daily walk. He’s 11 and it’s extra important for him to keep his joints healthy and moving. My friend, Lindsay, is an avid runner and uses YaTrax, which attach to the bottom of her gym shoes/ winter boots to give extra traction to walk in snow and ice.

Join A Fitness Community

When you’re in a community it’s easier to stay inspired and a great support system to have when working towards goals. Instagram is a great way to connect with others who are perhaps training for the same or a similar goal as you. Take advantage of the hashtags and form a genuine connection with others on a similar training plan.

Take Virtual Classes

This goes hand-in-hand with the point above about community. Taking virtual workout classes is a great way to form a community. Coach Lori has donation based classes every week that are FABULOUS! lululemon also has a list of coaches who are providing virtual classes. They have options to connect with people in your country/ state, which is a great way to find others in your local community.

Purchase Affordable Workout Machines

Buying workout equipment isn’t as expensive as I once thought. There are amazing deals on Amazon, Facebook marketplace, and a plethora of brands with machines and weights to fit your budget. I recommend finding what you like to use and purchasing it. This will help you feel more settled in your home fitness routine and also add a level of urgency to use the equipment since you spent your hard earned dollars on it.

Vandy catching snowflakes

Vandy catching snowflakes

buying more cozy winter gear

As mentioned above, on the days where weather permitting I’m active outdoors, I winter proof myself with the right activewear. Layers are key in helping me enjoy my outdoor fitness and I encourage you to take a look into the items below and/ or similar ones. I love layering leggings underneath sweatpants, too. This helps my legs stay nice and warm on longer walks. The sweatpants tighter around the ankle tuck perfectly in my snow boots and don’t scrunch up.

fleece lined leggings/ pants

tech gloves

A recent upgrade. These are perfect for opening doggy poop bags. The material gets staticky/ stuck and my hands are always too frozen when I remove them from my gloves and mittens to open the bag. The grip part on the fingers meant to navigate a smooth screen is perfect for dog parents, too.

Long Sleeves

I love laying long sleeves with thumb holes, because the sleeves don’t hike up in my sweater after I slide my arms through. Plus, the athletic options (like the turtleneck) are super chic and transitional pieces for wearing “to the office” aka zoom meetings.

Hat + Scarves

Did I miss any tips? I’d love to hear how you stay warm and the brands that are helping you stay active during these chilly times. Comment below!

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