5 Affordable Ways to Stay Active This Winter

Edited by Jasmine Ryu Won Kang

With winter closing in for the next few months, it can be tough to find ways to stay active and motivated, especially in the middle of a global pandemic. With many gyms still closed and unlikely to open in the foreseeable future, it can be discouraging trying to figure out how to stay in shape. Not only is working out important for your physical health, but it also plays a key role in mental health, which can be harder to manage, especially as daylight savings has ended. Staying active helps reduce anxiety and depression by releasing endorphins which help to elevate mood, which is vital during the harsh winter months. Exercising can also help improve sleep and energy levels, which are both crucial for your overall health. Here are five affordable ways you can stay active this winter while following social distancing guidelines!

  1. 1. No Equipment Workouts

    If you remember early quarantine TikTok, you'll likely recall the hype around Chloe Ting’s workouts (I still get war flashbacks). I found them to be too repetitive for my liking, so I discovered other fitness influencers to draw inspiration from. Some of my favorites are Gabby Scheyen (https://www.instagram.com/gabbyschey/?hl=en) and Ashleigh Jordan (https://www.instagram.com/ashleigh_jordan/?hl=en). You can find quick workouts on their Instagrams or longer HIIT workouts on Gabby's YouTube channel and the Aflete App. Most of these exercises don’t require any equipment, but if you want to challenge yourself, I would recommend buying some resistance bands to amp up your workout. 

  2. 2. Outdoor Sports

    Baby it's cold outside, but that doesn’t mean you have to stay trapped inside! There are so many different outdoor options to get you up and moving! From ice skating to snowboarding, winter doesn't have to stop you from getting a workout in. If you're looking for something a little more intense, why not try cross country skiing or snowshoeing? If none of these activities resonate with you, tap into your inner child and have a snowball fight! You know you kind of want to. 

  3. 3. Yoga

    If you’re not too keen on going out in the snow, yoga is a great way to practice mindfulness and get in a daily workout. All you need to get started is a mat or towel. There are several videos on YouTube that are easy to follow and offer something for everyone, from beginner levels to more advanced flows. Some of my favourite channels are Yoga With Adrian and Yoga With Bird

  4. 4. Pilates

    If yoga doesn't sound appealing and you're looking for something more fast-paced, give pilates a try. With little to no equipment needed, pilates is an excellent way to get your heart rate going and an affordable option for college students. Some of my favourite YouTube channels are Move With Nicole, who offers instructional pilates videos for beginners, and POPSUGAR Fitness, which has a variety of workouts led by celebrity trainers. 

  5. 5. Sledding

    I know what you’re thinking…sledding, really? Trust me, it’s harder than it seems and by the end, your quads will be dead. If you live in an area that doesn’t get much snow, try ice blocking! All you need is a block of ice large enough to sit on, a thick towel, and warm clothing. Then, find your nearest hill and race your friends to the bottom. It’s a fun and socially distant way to spend time with others while getting in a good leg workout.

No matter what your preferred activity is, remember to set goals to help you stay motivated and fuel your body properly!