How to Exercise on Campus When the Weather is Awful

“Oh, the weather outside is frightful!”¬†

It’s a merry line from a delightful holiday tune, but more than likely, this is part of why you might be feeling like you’d rather not go exercise today. Keeping up a regular exercise routine when the weather is terrible outside can be challenging. Temperatures might be frigid, or you might be dealing with freezing rain or snow. Going for an easy jog around campus isn’t really in the question when it’s blizzarding outside, so how can you keep healthy when the weather is terrible?

Exercising can be a challenge for more than one reason, but having the amenities to make things happen can be a really big help. Luckily enough, most college and university campuses are equipped with some of the best work-out equipment around! So even if you live in a northern state that gets tons of snow, there’s a good chance you’re going to have more than just a couple of options.

1. Use your campus gym

Most campuses are endowed with really excellent gyms and workout equipment. Since most colleges usually house a variety of sports teams, it’s paramount that they have a place to work out, train, and practice as a team. Since you’re a student on campus, you probably have access to all of this equipment, so you should take advantage of it! Once you’ve graduated from college, a membership at a gym can cost quite a bit of money, and it’s easy to miss out on the grand opportunity you have to access a free gym!

Not only that, but most of the equipment in collegiate gyms is usually pretty great. Donors have more than likely contributed to the athletic programs and buildings so you might be able to use some wonderful equipment.

2. Walk, walk, walk

No, you probably won’t be able to walk around outside if the windchill is below zero, but you certainly can walk around inside! Most campus gyms sport an indoor walking/running track, but you don’t just have to stick to athletic buildings. Depending on how your campus is set up, you can simply walk the hallways of academic buildings. Set a timer for yourself, plug your earbuds in, and start strolling. Or grab a friend and chat as you walk around. Who knows? You might discover some mystery nooks or hidden corridors on your venture!

You don’t have to stick to your campus for indoor walks either. Check out the amenities at your local community center or carpool to the mall with a friend and stroll around there!

3. Participate in winter sports

Does your school have a skiing club? Snowshoeing? Winter hiking? A lot of colleges and universities have a variety of clubs or student-led organizations that put on fun winter sports events. The great thing about this option is that it’s more than likely low cost, you’ll probably be able to carpool with someone, and you’ll meet new people along the way! Bonding over a shared experience can be one of the greatest ways to get to know someone. For instance, if you and the other participants have huddled around a fire for warmth while winter camping and then had to venture into the scary, dark forest for more wood to feed the fire, you might find a friend or two on the other side of your escapade.

4. Do an indoor workout

YouTube is full of videos featuring a variety of different types of workouts. Whether you want to do some calming bedtime yoga before you head to sleep or you want a fast-paced cardio workout, you can probably find about a thousand videos featuring just that online. At the very least, there are a whole bunch of apps you can download to your phone that are chock-full of interesting indoor workouts.

The beauty of an indoor workout is that you don’t even have to leave your dorm room to get a good sweat session in. And your roommates or friends might want to join you as well! If you’re worried about timing, try squeezing a workout in first thing when you wake up (as long as your roommates are awake or aren’t bothered by the noise) or jump on it right when you get home from classes. Once you build a habit, it will be easier to keep up a healthy lifestyle that includes exercise on a regular basis.