4 Fun Cold-Weather Cardio Workouts

When the temperature outside begins to drop a triathlete has three options: Layer up; pack it in until spring; or hit the treadmill and indoor trainer.

Thankfully, there are more effective ways to train during the winter months that don't put you at risk for frostbite, weight gain or social isolation. 


Working with kettlebells at a high intensity challenges the body to work from a free-standing position, which engages the body in multiple plans of motions.

Compared to traditional single-plane exercises, such as running on a treadmill, kettlebell training creates an ideal environment for burning calories and increasing VO2 Max, which trains the heart and circulatory system to become more efficient in delivering oxygen throughout the body.

More: Kettlebell Tips for Beginners

Studies have shown that exercisers implementing high-intensity kettlebell training can obtain a heart rate, VO2 Max, and calorie burn equivalent to running on a treadmill at a six-minute-mile pace.

Sample Kettlebell Workout

Complete five rounds of the following kettlebell exercises as fast as possible.

25x Kettlebell Swing
25x Kettlebell Thruster
25x Kettlebell Swing
25x Deadlift- High Pull
30 seconds rest

More: 8 Fat-Burning Kettlebell Moves

Spin Class

Head to an indoor cycling or spin class at your local fitness center to avoid the elements and build your cardio base.

Resisted climbs and rides will help to increase leg strength in the quadriceps and hamstrings, the same two muscle groups engaged while you run.

More: Do Spinning Classes Help or Hurt?

You're able to simulate speed training during periods of intense sprinting followed by active recovery periods.

As an added benefit, these improvements will come with significantly less impact on the knees and ankles, providing your body with a break from the impact and overuse injuries associated with running.

Spinning Workout Tips

Start by finding the schedule for fitness classes at your local gym. Go prepared with a bottle of water and a towel.

Plan on getting to your first class a little early to be sure you get a proper fit on the bike. Ask the instructor to help you with the set-up.

Don't just walk in and jump on the bike as is; they're adjustable for a reason. Attend a couple classes at separate times to see what different instructors have to offer.

More: How Spinning Will Improve Your Running Skills

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