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10 Ways to Stay in Shape this Winter … Without Spending (Much) Money


Exercising outdoors is a great, frugal alternative to the gym. Rather than spending $50 per month or more on a fitness club membership, you can stay in shape by running, jump roping, or doing calisthenics at your local park.

Unless, of course, it’s cold outside. Then what should you do? How can you stay in shape this winter without an expensive gym membership? Here are 10 tips.

#1: Play winter sports

Get involved with a non-competitive local sports team, or find a few friends who are interested in playing sports every Saturday. Ice skating or hockey are great sports that will get your heart rate going. You can get a membership to a local rink for a fairly cheap rate.

#2: Build a snowman

Even if the weather is cold outside, roll up a bunch of snowballs and hoist them up on top of each other. This children’s activity may not feel like exercise, but trust me: it will trigger your pulse to beat a little faster.

#3: Walk or take a hike

Even though it might be snowy outside, put on a pair of snow pants and boots and take the dog for a walk around the neighborhood. You may discover that you enjoy walking through the snow! The added resistance of the snow also gives you a deeper workout.

#4: Slide down a toboggan hill

Sledding may not seem like a form of exercise, but after you get to the bottom of the hill, you have to walk back up to the top if you want to slide back down!

#5: Shovel the driveway or sidewalk

Instead of using a snow blower or plow to get rid of the snow in your driveway, grab a shovel and clear off the sidewalk by hand. It will make you sweat and get keep you fit throughout the winter.

#6: Cut down your own Christmas tree!

Find a forest close to home and (assuming you have authorization) choose a decent size tree, cut it down and carry it home to decorate.

#7: Rearrange the furniture in your house

If the weather is too bad to go outside, pick a room in your house and begin moving the furniture around. Not only will you enjoy redecorating, but you’ll also get some good lifting accomplished.

#8: Start a snowball fight!

Launch snowballs at your neighborhood friends! By running, ducking, hiding and throwing snowballs, you will be out of breath in no time.

#9: Hit the stairs

Take a few laps up and down the stairs in your home. This will bring your heart rate up and put a little pep in your step.

#10: Volunteer

The winter months are the hardest on the homeless.  By volunteering at a local soup kitchen, you will be moving around, standing on your feet, lifting heavy boxes and buckets — in short, you’ll get exercise. And you’ll also serve a great cause.

Kennedi writes about fitness, food and fashion. Learn how to lose 10 pounds for free in one of her latest blog posts.

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My name is Derek, and I have my Bachelors Degree in Finance from Grand Valley State University. After graduation, I was not able to find a job that fully utilized my degree, but I still had a passion for Finance! So, I decided to focus my passion in the stock market. I studied Cash Flows, Balance Sheets, and Income Statements, put some money into the market and saw a good return on my investment. As satisfying as this was, I still felt that something was missing. I have a passion for Finance, but I also have a passion for people. If you have a willingness to learn, I will continue to teach.


  1. I try to build a snowman every chance I get! It doesn’t snow much down here in Texas but when it does I am the first outside rolling up the snow.

    Since it isn’t that snowy I guess I have no excuse not to stay in shape.

    • Haha. I love that you build snowmen! We had a quick snow here in Michigan last week and I saw someone put up a small snowman. 🙂

  2. I lived where we had Winter snow for 3 years in the late 1970s and decided that wasn’t for me. It can get too rainy and blustery for outdoor exercise here, so we have a stationary recliner bike that I ride at least 30 minutes every day. And when the weather is nice, my wife and I like to go for an evening walk after dinner. I do try to drag my wife and son out for a hike in the coastal mountains every few weekends. They make noise about the time it takes, but then they get out there and see the views as well as get into the spirit of moving, and they seem to enjoy the experience.

    • Sounds like you’re pretty responsible with your exercise Bryce. Good for you! Keep dragging your wife and son out there. It’s good for them. 😉

  3. Thanks for the list. One of the most difficult things to do during winter is to keep our body in shape since the weather tend to make us feel lazier.

    • It sure does. I have already been struggling with my exercise and it’s not even snowing yet! Pretty sure it’s time for me to get on a schedule again.

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