5 Ways to Winterproof Your Workout Routine

When outdoor exercise freezes over, it’s a great time to mix it up.

SNOW AND ICE cause major dents in outdoor sports like bicycling, running and kayaking. Have you thought about winterizing your workout? (Great news: you don’t need knobby mountain-bicycling tires or so many clothing layers you can barely move!) We asked two local fitness trainers – Ryan Mleziva, Brew Fitness founder and co-owner of the Shorewood location; and Hubie Krawczyk, founder and owner of SPIRE Fitness in the Third Ward – for their tips on bringing your outdoor regimen inside after the first frost.


Ride Indoors with a Group

Cycling in large groups can keep you engaged and pumping those legs, and SPIRE Fitness’ classes use stationary technology to emulate climbs and turns. “It’s more of a dance party,” says Krawczyk. And in SPIRE’s Ride (+) class, you can build upper-body strength by cycling while holding two weights above your head.

Illustration by Getty Images


Go Beyond Cycling

Instead of splurging on a Peloton, invest in a bike- resistance trainer (starts at around $50). Now you can pedal indoors by locking your bike into the stand. But unless you live in a carnival funhouse, it’s flat terrain. To add “the illusion of hills and climbs,” says Mleziva, add intervals where you hop off the bike, do a leg squat or leg lunge, then get back on.


Step Climbing

Those playing-field bleachers may be slick with ice, but indoor steps aren’t. “If you work in a Down- town building, you can crank out a few flights every day,” says Krawczyk. “They are great for your legs or quadriceps.” And don’t just walk up and down the stairs normally (boring!). Walking sideways and alternating between single or double steps adds a new challenge – just be careful!

Illustration by Getty Images


Hop Online

In lieu of bingeing Netflix, stream fitness tutorials instead, including on YouTube. “The internet is a fantastic resource,” says Mleziva. “Even at the gym, we stream a lot of content.” The $13-a-month Peloton app is another guided tool with indoor running, cycling, yoga and high-intensity interval training workouts even if you don’t have the cycling system.

Illustration by Getty Images


Dive into Cross-Training

“Repetitive movements tend to cause more injuries,” says Mleziva, so it’s wise to think beyond just running and cycling. “Utilize the winter as a cross-training season.” Short spurts switching among bikes, rowers and treadmills (like Brew Fitness’ “Nitro Brew” class) can spike the heart rate and fold in cardio intervals. Weightlifting is another strengthener while you wait for the snow to melt. “Strength and conditioning, any way you can get it, would definitely improve your performance” in the warmer months, says Krawczyk.

Illustration by Getty Images


This story is part of Milwaukee Magazine‘s November issue.

Find it on newsstands or buy a copy at milwaukeemag.com/shop

Be the first to get every new issue. Subscribe.




A seasoned writer, and a former editor at Milwaukee Home & Fine Living, Kristine Hansen launched her wine-writing career in 2003, covering wine tourism, wine and food pairings, wine trends and quirky winemakers. Her wine-related articles have published in Wine Enthusiast, Sommelier Journal, Uncorked (an iPad-only magazine), FoodRepublic.com, CNN.com and Whole Living (a Martha Stewart publication). She's trekked through vineyards and chatted up winemakers in many regions, including Chile, Portugal, California (Napa, Sonoma and Central Coast), Canada, Oregon and France (Bordeaux and Burgundy). While picking out her favorite wine is kind of like asking which child you like best, she will admit to being a fan of Oregon Pinot Noir and even on a sub-zero winter day won't turn down a glass of zippy Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc.