Five Cold-Weather Fitness Ideas
No one could blame you for taking a, shall we say, lax approach to fitness as another snowy Boston winter nears. But think of it this way: The more you work out now, the fewer pounds you’ll have to drop when—surprise!—it’s spring again. Plus, there are some decidedly pleasant ways to stay active during the cold months, even if hitting the slopes isn’t your style. Don’t believe us? Here are five.
1. Hug It Out
For those who need moral support on a chilly winter’s morn, the fitness cult (er, group) November Project meets Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, year round, for Harvard Stadium runs and Summit Avenue hill slogs. Stay for the après-workout hugs.
Free, locations vary, november-project.com.
2. Hit the Ice
Never quite mastered skating? No worries. You’ll play the goofy hockey-inspired sport known as broomball in your sneakers. Social Boston Sports’ low-key league meets at Brighton’s Reilly Memorial Rink.
$90 per season, 355 Chestnut Hill Ave., Brighton, 617-987-0602, socialbostonsports.com.
3. Sled the City
You laugh, but trekking up a hill can be a great workout. For optimal climbing, try Peters Hill in the Arboretum—it’s steep enough to make you pant, and the fantastic skyline vistas on the way down are a welcome reward.
Free, 125 Arborway, Boston, 617-524-1718, arboretum.harvard.edu.
4. Take a Hike
No need to stow your boots and poles for the season. Hingham’s World’s End is an excellent choice for moderately difficult hiking with major visual payoff. Even as you immerse yourself in nature, you can see the city in the distance.
$6, Martin’s Lane, Hingham, 781-740-7233, thetrustees.org.
5. Shovel Snow
Once the white stuff starts falling, join Ethos’ AgeWell Snow Angels, a group that clears driveways for elderly West Roxbury residents. It’s a workout win-win: You’ll help seniors stay safe, and burn up to 900 calories in just two hours.
Stretch for Success
Why the warm-up just might be the most important part of cool-weather fitness.
If you’re the type of gym rat who goes from zero to 60, Jess Bashelor (pictured above), owner of indoor cycling studio the Handle Bar, has a vivid visual for you.
“Your muscles are kind of like rubber bands. You need to work them out to get them to your full potential,” she explains. “When it’s cold, that’s especially the case. You can imagine freezing a rubber band and then trying to stretch it apart—it’ll snap.”
To avoid that not-so-pretty picture, Bashelor recommends a long and slow warm-up when the temperatures dip: Start with a walk to your gym, then complete at least 10 minutes of cardio at your own pace when you get there before you really get moving.
And don’t forget a cool-down: Bashelor suggests finishing your workout with plenty of stretching—and warm, dry clothing for the ride home, naturally.