Quick Workouts for Short Winter Days

When you head out of work to go home and it's already dark out, it can be tough to get in your usual outdoor workout. It can be tempting to head straight home for the comfort of a warm dinner and a cozy blanket and call it a day when the sun sets at 4:30 pm. And even with warm gear and reflective clothes, depending on where you live, it can be dangerous or downright impossible to get out for a run, walk, bike ride, pickup game, or whatever your outdoor workout of choice may be. Here are a few quick workouts to help you squeeze in some movement as the days get shorter.

Try out the lunchtime workout.

Throw a set of gym clothes in your back seat and catch a lunchtime class, run, gym sesh, or even just a walk. Just make sure to pack a towel, deodorant and wipes if you don't have time or a place to shower before you head back into the office.

HIIT it.

Sneak in a fast outdoor workout by swapping a jog for some HIIT sprints. Just 15-25 minutes of high intensity intervals (1:2 ratio of work to rest) can be squeezed in before sunset to help you get the same cardiovascular and weight management benefits of a longer steady state cardio workout.

Try the Original Stairmaster - the Stairs

If you live or work in a building with 2 or 3 flights of stairs (bonus points for more!) try running up and down them, or alternate walking and running flights for an interval workout.

Try a Tabata

If you're not into the whole running thing, tabatas are a great way to get in a fast, effective workout that incorporates strength and agility movements, as well as improves your aerobic fitness. The basic premise of Tabata is to choose any 4 moves (like pushups, burpees, mountain climbers, lunges, etc). Do one move hard for 20 seconds, rest for 10 seconds, and repeat for 8 rounds. When you've done 8 rounds of each of the 4 moves, you're done! You can download a free tabata timer app on your phone and tons of equipment-free Tabatas are just a Google search away.

Embrace the Darkness

Use the early sunsets to your advantage and take your yoga session to its most peaceful, cozy level. Turn out all the lights, put on a candle, and breathe. You'll make it through this season of less sunlight!

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