10 Budget-Friendly Ways to Stay Trim in Winter Months


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The weather turns cold, the sun disappears, and your motivation to exercise starts to fade. It can be difficult to maintain your weight during the winter, especially when those holiday meals are in sight. If a gym membership just doesn’t fit into your monthly budget, we’ve got 10 budget-friendly tips to help you stay trim during these cold winter months.

Make your living room your gym.

Jenny Skoog, Personal Trainer at skoogfit.com, recommends seeking out online workouts. “Download free online home-workout plans and bust a move in your abode using stairs, chairs and water jugs.”

Add more activity to your everyday routine.

Dayna M. Kurtz, National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) Certified Personal Trainer, advises, “Incorporate MORE activity into the day-to-day routine. At work, opt for the stairs instead of the elevator for a few flights. If you live in an apartment building or multilevel house, you can do the same.”

Ditch the snow blower.

Kim Evans, BS, AFAA, ACE trainer and group fitness specialist online trainer, suggests leaving the snow blower indoors. “If you live in a very snowy place, shoveling is quite a workout! You will burn tons of calories and get a great workout with that shovel. Just remember to keep switching hands so that you work all parts of your core.” Jenny Skoog adds, “While you’re at it, shovel for your elderly neighbor, too! Forget about buying that expensive snow blower!”

Don’t be a couch potato.

Before you settle in for your favorite prime-time program, Dayna M. Kurtz recommends getting some exercise. “Instead of sitting down for your favorite TV show, spend the first 10, 20 or 30 minutes in motion! Jogging in place or skipping rope are easy ways to work up a little sweat.”

Go ice skating or skiing.

Don’t forget about your favorite winter outdoor activities. Kim Evans reminds readers, “Ice skating at an outdoor rink is a great fitness treat. So is cross-country skiing, which you can do just about anywhere. Some places even offer groomed trails.”

Skip the calorie-heavy comfort foods.

Jenny Skoog reminds readers that they should still have access to healthy veggies, even when the weather turns cold. “Invest in a fall/winter CSA and enjoy vegetables all year long. Comfort foods can (and should) be healthy.”

Don’t forget about the resources at your local library.

Dayna M. Kurtz reminds readers that there are lots of free resources in their own city. “Visit your local library and check out the fitness DVDs. Take an exercise class in your own living room!”

Enlist a personal trainer as a group.

Accountability, and discounts, in numbers! Kim Evans says, “Get a group of friends together and hire a personal trainer. For one-on-one sessions, it can cost more than $50, but if you put a small group together, you can usually get the cost down to around $10 – $15 per person to work with a trainer.”

Reconsider the rec center.

Kim Evans reminds readers, “Check out your community recreation options. Most offer adult leagues in sports like basketball or volleyball. You can also swim at your local high school, or use the community weight room at a low cost.”


Be sure to consult with a physician before embarking on any new fitness program.


Briana Fabbri is head of marketing for NetCredit.