Starting off the New Year on a fitness-focused foot


  • Introduction

  • Fitness-focused New Year resolutions

  • The impact of Winter Exercises

  • Outdoor winter exercises

  • Alternative exercises that you can do at home

  • What to wear for winter workouts

  • Things to remember about winter exercises

  • Nutritious eating

  • Lifestyle changes

  • Conclusion

  • FAQ


    Whenever a new year rolls around, many people decide to create resolutions in order to enact positive change in their lives.

    New Year’s resolutions give off an energy that inspires a fresh change in people so that they get the courage to let go of any negativity and bad habits that no longer bring any fulfilment in their lives.

    More often than not, people include fitness-related changes as part of their resolutions, as this is the most positive change someone can instil into their lives.

    Fitness New Year’s Resolutions

    When it comes to making fitness-focused resolutions for the New Year, there are different angles that you can focus on, based on the results you wish to achieve.

    It is important to remember that for your resolutions to work, making changes is important and so is preparing for challenges that may arise.

    This includes setting out realistic resolutions in order to see gradual results. You can opt to focus more on bettering your health at first and then slowly expand your goals by setting optimal weights or body builds that you want to achieve. Choose changes along the lines of trying to run a certain amount of kilometres per day, or cutting out foods that are extremely high in added sugars.

    After you succeed at these, you can move on to adding more kilometres to your daily run, and optimizing your diet so that it boosts your metabolism and helps you build muscle.

    The impact of winter exercises

    In the northern hemisphere, the new year takes place in winter which means that when you start following your resolutions it will be in cold weather. Because of the weather, your body will react differently to how it would during warmer months. Special considerations need to be taken if the weather is icy.

    When you work out in winter more effort is required to work up a sweat, and because of this extra effort, you’ll be able to burn more calories. You’ll be able to get in quite a bit of cardio exercises and it’ll give you new training opportunities.

    It’s important to note that in winter there is a higher risk of getting dehydrated mostly because you don’t feel as warm as usual and sweating is less noticeable because of the layers of clothing you’ll be wearing. Also, cold weather can reduce how thirsty you feel  - so you won’t prioritise how much water you will be drinking. As a rule of thumb, aim for about 450ml of water for every hour that you work out. Always carry water with you when you are working out

    The benefits of winter workouts include boosting your immune system as it’ll help you fight off colds and flu. Exercising is known to help improve your mood which will help those who experience Seasonal Affective Disorder.

    Even though it is winter, remember to adequately warm up and cool down when you are exercising.

    Outdoor winter exercises

    Outdoor exercises are a great way to be healthy while experiencing nature in all of its glory. However, in winter, there is little much that you can do in the way of exercising in nature.

    That being said, there are still a lot of winter activities that can double up as exercise because of the effort and energy that you exert doing them. These activities include snowboarding, hiking, skiing, ice sledding, and ice skating. It will help you get in some cardio and work your glutes and hamstrings among other muscles.

    Alternative exercises you can do at home

    If working outdoors is something that you’re not comfortable with you can always sign up for a gym membership or you can work out leisurely at home.

    If opting for a home workout, create a designated space at your home so that you are comfortable when you perform your exercises. For a home gym, it's a good idea to invest in some pieces of equipment that will help with your goals. Get some soft-touch weights, a good cardio machine like a treadmill or an exercise bicycle, resistance bands, and a yoga mat.

    What to wear for winter workouts

    If you are working out indoors, then you can keep your clothing comfortable and with a reasonable amount of layers.

    However, if you are opting to exercise outdoors, it is best to consider a few things like the correct clothes to wear. 

    Remember to dress in layers to keep yourself warm and dry. Protect your feet and hands at all times. Also, choose clothes that are bright, so you’ll be visible in bad weather.

    Model is wearing 3 layer hard shell jacket called Nanna. Reflective feature at shaped sleeve hems for visibility

    Things to remember about winter exercises

    Before you go out to exercise, remember to check the weather beforehand. This is so that you can be careful of developing frostbite and hypothermia.

    Remember that being visible in this weather is important. As you get warmer while working out, you can take off one layer at a time.

    Be aware of traction, as you can easily slip on icy or wet floors. There are certain conditions that are not suitable for working out. In these instances, it would be better if you choose an exercise like indoor cycling instead.

    Nutritious eating

    To improve your eating habits, these are some tips you can follow to get you on the right track for the new year.

    • Try limiting foods with a high sugar content and drinks that have a lot of added sugar in them. 

    •  Make weekly or monthly nutrient goals: Aim to eat fatty fish, diversify your protein intake, and stock up on seasonal fruit and vegetables.

    • Make changes to mid-day snacks by changing from highly processed treats to nuts, seeds, and

    • Be reasonable with the amount of coffee that you drink. While it’s healthy and promotes longevity, too much of it can increase your heart rate to worrisome levels.

    • Increase your Vitamin D in winter, especially because sunlight can be hard to experience during this time. 

    • When cooking, swap out using oils and butter, and opt for olive oil instead.

    • Cooking at home is important if you care a lot about your portion control and calorie intake. Investing in an air fryer will be extremely beneficial to you. If you make your own meals, keep this in mind when you go out grocery shopping.

    Lifestyle Tips:

    If you want to become healthier, you need to make changes to your lifestyle other than your diet and exercise habits.

    • The quantity and quality of your sleep are very important for both your brain and body to function during the day. Make sure that you get enough. 

    • If you drink, it would be a good idea to reduce the amount you consume and partake moderately. It would be best to try and quit drinking altogether, along with smoking or doing drugs.

    • Changing up your inner circle can also be beneficial. Try to keep the company of people who have similar goals. It will help keep you motivated.

    • Create a diet that suits your specific needs. If you follow a very restrictive diet, you may end up having difficulty making progress.

    • A lifestyle tip to include in your roster would be to practice mindful activities in order to reduce anxiety and stress. You can practice meditation, limit your screen time, and try journaling to introspect.

    • If you are someone who does not move around a lot,  try to be more active in your seat - there are desk workouts that you can do.

    • Negativity can be detrimental to your goals, that is why it is important to create a positive mindset and to recite affirmations and motivations.

    • One of the important factors in succeeding in your goals is to make sure you also get enough rest. Enough rest will help you recover your energy and help you focus on your goals while preventing burnout.

    The Backpack Syðrigarðar is well equipped for storing extra clothing, snacks and drinks for the next resting stop


    The ‘new year, new me’ ethos has people itching to turn over a new leaf. Hence we see an uptick in fitness-focused resolutions. To make these resolutions stick and turn into habits, you need to consider a few factors.

    One important factor is the cold weather that is present in the new year. Despite the weather, there are workout routines that you can do both indoors and outdoors, but you need to be prepared for harsh weather by dressing accordingly.

    Make responsible changes to your diet and remember that a healthy lifestyle is more than what you eat and how much you exercise.

    With these tips, you’ll be well on your way to achieving your fitness goals in the new year.


    Q: I made a resolution to get fit in the new year, but it is cold. How I do exercise in winter?

    A: There are many ways to incorporate exercise in this season. You can do a full routine indoors or at a gym.

    Q: I prefer being in nature, is it possible to work out outdoors during icy weather?

    A: It is possible to work out outside during winter,  you just need to do weather-appropriate exercises - there are many to choose from.

    Q: Given the weather in January, I can’t go swimming. What are other fun examples of exercises that I can do outside during this time?

    A: There are many different activities to choose from. Hiking, skiing, and ice skating are all ways to have fun while being active.

    Q: If I want to work outdoors during winter, is there a specific way I should dress for the weather?

    A:  Dress with plenty of layers so that you don’t get frostbite or get sick.

    Q: Where do I find winter workout clothing that is suitable for cold weather and places?

    A: A brand, like Icewear, has created clothes that are specifically suitable for areas which are icier. This activewear will help you stay both dry and warm while you work out.


    Everyday Health

    UK Healthcare


    Aston University


    Article provided by Barbendteam