Many of us made resolutions to become fitter this year, but I for one abhor setting foot in a gym. The thought of sweaty workout equipment makes me cringe and frankly, I find them intimidating. During the warmer months it’s simple to make movement part of my everyday routine. But what about right now, with freezing temperatures and snow piling up around us? Here are the simple tips I’ve been following to get fitter this winter, no gym pass required…

Take a Class
Perhaps you hate spin and even zumba, but there are plenty of non-traditional classes that will get your heart racing – and you won’t have to step foot in a gym. I recently tried swing dancing and was surprised by how much of a workout it is. I had no idea you could have that much fun (and so many giggles!) while breaking a sweat. You could sign up for pole dancing, try your hand at fencing, or even take circus classes. If you find something that you really enjoy, it’s easy to convince yourself to brave the cold and make it to class every week.

Buy a Pedometer
This little gadget makes it easy to challenge yourself to walk a little bit more everyday. (Great for type-A personalities; yay, goals!) Aim for 10,000 steps and then figure out how to work more movement into your daily routine. Get off the streetcar early and walk for a few blocks. Take the stairs. Bundle up and go for a short stroll on your lunch break. Tracking how much you’re moving keeps it at the forefront of your mind and provides that extra ounce of motivation when you just feel like waiting for the elevator.

Use Your Body
It was a revelation for me when I found out how much strength training I could do at home, no equipment required (except for perhaps a yoga mat). YouTube is great for learning basic exercises or if you’ve got a fitness buff for a friend, they’ll probably be happy to spot your form until you’ve mastered the moves. It’s great to consult with a qualified personal trainer to put together a program designed especially for you, but there is also lots of advice online. Lately I’ve been loving Meghan Telpner’s morning yoga routine…

and this pajama party workout…

Just be conscious of your current fitness level and don’t push yourself too hard. Consistency is key, so rather than setting lofty goals about marathons before you’ve gone on your first run, just make the commitment to move every day.

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