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10 Awesome Winter Training Activities...

to keep you active, healthy and optimisitc during the winter

Winter offers lots of opportunities to stay active, strong, optimistic and fit. Through alternative cross-training activities, you add spice to your training in addition to your normal running, walking, cycling or swimming activity. Below, in no particular order, are our top 10 ideas. Receive our newsletter for updates on gear, tips and advice, events, sales and more!

Cross Country SkiingCross-Country Skiing:

Cross-country skiing is a great way to enjoy the outdoors while getting a rigorous and feel-good workout. When you cross-country ski you use both your arms and legs which, in turn, develops a high level of aerobic fitness. There are lots of places to ski in Indiana. Many state and local parks and even some golf courses (check in at the club house) have great trails to ski on. To learn more about Cross-Country skiing in Indiana, check out XC Ski Indiana. The Runners Forum carries a wide variety of gloves, hats, and other apparel that can be used for running, walking, cycling, and cross-country skiing during the winter.

Ice Skating:

Ice skating is a great addition to your normal exercise routine. And it’s fun! Like downhill skiing, ice skating will work your gluts, hips and core-areas we often ignore. There are several places in Indiana to ice skate. Check them out here.

Spinning/Indoor Cycling:

The benefits of cycling are tremendous. It is non-impact therefore easy on the joints yet develops our aerobic capacity and leg strength. Spinning and indoor cycling are very popular among cyclists and non-cyclists alike. Many fitness clubs offer classes and equipment to help you achieve cycling fitness throughout the year. If you enjoy cycling in the comfort of your own home or with friends, the Runners Forum has bicycle trainers that are a perfect option for you.

Shoveling Snow:

While it may seem more like a back breaker more than a workout, shoveling snow can be safe and is an incredible workout when done properly. So keep the snow blower in the garage for today.  Here is a great site on how to shovel snow safely. CLICK HERE!


Like its warm weather counter-part, winter hiking is fun, healthy and rewarding. You will have to use warmer apparel that has moisture-management properties, however. But even on a cold day, brisk hiking can warm you up quickly. Accessories such as Yaktrax can help you grip the snow or ice effectively so you can keep your eyes on the great outdoors rather than on the ground below you. State Parks are always great destinations to hike. For a challenge and to get away from urban life try hiking in Morgan-Monroe State Forest south of Indianapolis.

Stair Climbing:

Stair climbing is an intense and fun way to test your fitness. As the name suggests, you run or walk upstairs for an extended period of time. Stair climbing has been around for a long time. But now there are two stair climbing events right here in Indianapolis (check out the RF Event Calendar). These are fun ways to have a race or physical activity indoors protected from the elements.

Aqua Jogging:

Aqua jogging is another term for running in the water. It’s great in boosting fitness, adding a non-impact element to your training, or recovering from injury. Aqua jogging works best in the deep end of the pool where your feet can’t touch the bottom and with other people to keep you company. Runners World has a great article on how to aqua jog. The Runners Forum also has hydration belts to keep you afloat and running strong in the water.

Making a Snowman:

Making a snowman may not be the most physical activity. But it gets you outdoors, moving around at strange angles that your body hasn’t tried in a long time and hopefully allows time to spend with friends and family.


You might not realize it, but sledding is a great way to exercise. What goes down in sledding must come up! The trip down is a blast but that means you have to hike up to the top of the hill. There aren’t many large hills in Central Indiana, but places like Ft. Benjamin Harrison State Park and West Park in Carmel, IN offer some of the best sledding hills in the Indianapolis area.

Downhill Skiing:

Downhill skiing in central Indiana? Well, I admit that this is a bit of a stretch. But downhill skiing is an incredible way to improve balance, develop core strength and rebuild some quad and hip strength lost during our holiday vacations. The closest downhill ski slopes are Paoli Peaks, Perfect North Slopes and Pines Family Recreation Center.



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