During the summer we have no problem getting plenty of exercise. We spend our days by the pool, swimming laps or going on runs by the beautiful grounds of the Schönbrunn Palace. We don’t mind getting off the subway 1 or 2 stops earlier to enjoy some sunshine while we walk to work, or we attend boot camp classes at the Prater. Once it gets colder, however, our outdoor-activities drastically decrease. After all, who would willingly walk an extra mile when it is pouring outside? But this year, we’re determined to stay fit all winter. Of course there’ll always be the gym, but if you’re not in the mood to spend 80€+ every month for a fancy gym membership, we’ve round up a few activities that are just as effective as an hour at the gym, but are a little more exciting and budget-friendly.
1) Ice Skating
Not only is ice skating a fun, girly activity to do during the colder months, it is actually a sport! If you skate around the ice for an hour, you can burn anywhere from 350 to 800 kcal (depending on the intensity) according to this calculator, while toning your legs and gluts at the same time. The fun part: you actually get to dress cute! Some leggings, leg warmers, a cute headband … it’s all part of the deal. If you live in Vienna, you can go to the “Wiener Eislaufverein” behind the Hotel Intercontinental for the last 2 hours of the day for as little as 3,50€.
2) Outdoor Running With Thermal Wear
Running is one of our favorite exercises when it comes to working out on a budget – it doesn’t require any fancy equipment and you can do it from anywhere. A healthy heart is the best thing, and running tones the entire body while burning fat. Up until last year, we would always switch to the treadmill during winter, but then we heard about thermal-sports-wear. It is made of a material that allows to you run in colder temperatures without your muscles cooling down too much. The key is to layer! Start out with a regular workout tank top, then add a longsleeve thermal shirt (best with a zip-up turtleneck) and on top you can add a windstopper jacket, as well as a scarf. And be sure not to forget a beanie or headband for your ears. We purchased our thermal sportswear at Tschibo for a mere 19€ last year, so it is definitely inexpensive and will get you through those cold months.
3) At Home Workouts
We’ve tried a series of “at home workouts” over the last few years, including Jillian Michael’s “30 day shred”. It is a super intense workout video, that only requires about 20 minutes each day and will get you toned (and sore) in no time. Madeleine recently blogged about her experiences with the workout which reminded us that we stopped at level 2 and definitely need to get back at it. (Read all about her experience HERE.) The workout only requires a mat (we use our yoga mats), some weights (we ‘d recommend 1-2kg) and the instructional video, which can be purchased HERE or found on YouTube HERE.
4) Cross-Country Skiing
If you live in a skiing region (we both went to school in the Salzburg area), then you’ve probably had cross-country skiing as part of your physical education classes during high school. If not, you’ve probably never tried it before. Now, let us warn you: it does NOT come easy to most people. The movement is a bit tricky (we prefer the “skating” vs. the “classic” method), and you may be confronted with some frustration and tangled legs in the beginning. That’s why we would recommend an hour with an instructor to start out. Once you have the hang of things it can be a great alternative to running, as it is also a cardio-activity. In places like Kaprun or Zell am See you can rent the equipment for around 7€.
5) Dance Classes
Summertime is wedding season, and that means lots of dancing at parties. But who actually knows how to dance properly? We don’t! So this winter, we’d love to make use of the rainy/snowy days when it gets dark way too early to take a dance class or two. It can be done with your partner, which means quality time together, and you’ll burn some calories while you’re at it. Then, once summer comes around again you’ve got the moves to wow everyone at the next wedding. Great plan, huh? You can find an overview of the “Wiener Tanzschulen” HERE.