While many areas of the country are experiencing unseasonably warm temperatures, many are sitting in the frozen tundra, waiting for the first signs of the thaw. However cozy your sweater is, don’t let the bulky blankets and baskets of bread mask your lack of activity this winter. Spring break will be here before you know it and with it the first foray into bathing suits and outdoor activities. In the meantime, try these simple ways to stay active and fit in the winter months without a gym.

Get Outside Anyway

If you’re a runner, you’ll know that running in the cold can dramatically lower your times.  Invest in slip-on ice traction grippers for less than $20 and keep running regardless of the weather outside.  Dressing in layers and always wearing a light hat will keep you toasty as you tick off the miles and your jeans will thank you as winter wears on.

If you’re not a runner, talk to your local parks and recreation department and find out if they rent snow shoes or cross-country skis.  Many places in winter climates will rent a variety of winter sports equipment to their residents and for around $10 a day you can work up a sweat and find out if the investment in your own equipment will be worth i

Workout Videos 

While the phrase “workout videos” may conjure up images of Jane Fonda and Jazzercise, today’s workout videos are designed to give stay-at-home moms and gym rats alike a way to break a sweat without the hassle of the actual gym.  Many programs require a few pieces of equipment, such as hand weights or a pull up bar, but exercises can be modified for any location like your hotel room or a small apartment.  From at-home yoga to high intensity interval training, a $30 investment can make the difference between a muffin top and flat abs.  If you’re unsure which program to choose, ask around.  Chances are your fitness friends will have a variety of programs in their library that they would be willing to let you borrow for free.

Start Where You Are, Use What You Have

Google “At Home Workouts” to see the creativity people have used to create at-home, no equipment workouts.  From doing exercises based on the spelling your name, to a Youtube video of a mom who has a full 30 minute workout using only her stairs, you will find plenty of inspiration amongst the interwebs to keep you moving this winter.  Plank during TV commercials.  Do 20 sit-ups every hour at work. Even small efforts will add up over the course of your day.

Don’t use winter as an excuse to lose all of your fitness gains from the summer and fall.  Ditch the gym and realize the joys of working out in your own home, getting outside anyway, and making the small things count. You’ll be ready for that bikini in no time.