Our Top Tips for Exercising in Winter
Wintertime and the festive season often mean big meals with family and friends and lots of time spent indoors. To avoid stacking on the pounds, you should resist the temptation to go into hibernation and make sure you get all the exercise you need. However, even the most dedicated fitness fanatic can find it challenging to stick to a regular exercise routine during the dark, cold winter days.
Winter doesn’t have to mean giving up exercising outdoors and having to head into a crowded gym to stay in shape. There are plenty of ways in which you can deal with the chill of winter and even make the cold weather work for your workout! Keep reading to find out our top tips to help you stay trim throughout the winter months.
Dress for The Weather
The most crucial aspect of training outdoors during the wintertime is to respect the weather. It’s incredibly important to wear the right clothing so you stay dry and warm. Sweating will result in you losing body heat, leaving you cold and wet after exercising. Wearing clothes that wick sweat away from your body will help you stay dry during a workout. Stay away from cotton and instead opt for synthetic fibers that dry quickly, like polyester, polypropylene, and nylon.
You need to make sure your clothing keeps you warm but doesn’t cause you to overheat. This can be achieved by layering your clothes to trap warm air. Start with a layer of synthetic fabrics, add a heavier middle layer if it is really cold, and then top off the ensemble with a final layer that will protect you from the wind, rain, and snow. A hat and gloves will keep your hands and head covered and a scarf can be used to keep your face warm.
Short winter days and bad weather often mean that visibility is limited. It’s best to go for brightly colored clothing so you can be seen more easily. Adding some reflective strips or lights to your workout gear is also a great way to enhance visibility.
Finally, you need to keep your feet warm but also ensure that you have good traction. Check that the grip on your shoes isn’t too worn out and that they won’t let in rain, mud, or snow. Getting a set of shoe covers can help your feet to stay dry and will prevent you from slipping or falling on icy or wet surfaces.
The colder weather can mean that we neglect to stay sufficiently hydrated while working out. You may not feel like chugging down cold water when you are surrounded by ice and snow, but dehydration is as big a risk in the wintertime as it is in the summer! Keep your fluid intake up by making your water more tempting and easier to drink when it’s cold out. To avoid the chill of cold water, try taking a bottle of warm water with you. Flavoring your water can also help to make it more appealing. A Live Infinitely fruit infuser is a great way to keep your water tasty and healthy!
If you really can’t handle the thought of drinking while you’re out in the cold, you can keep yourself hydrated by drinking before and after your workout. However, this only applies as long as you don’t exercise for more than 90 minutes.
Watch Your Breathing
Cold can cause your airways to become narrow, making it difficult and even painful to get enough air. Breathing through your nose will help to keep the air warm and humid, but this isn’t always possible during a strenuous workout. Wrapping your face in a scarf or a bandana will help to trap water vapor as you breathe out and ensure that the air you breathe in stays moist and warm.
Warm-Up and Cool Down
Your body needs time to adapt to the cold and then come back to a normal resting state after a workout. So having a good warm-up and cool-down routine is crucial when exercising during winter. Spend a minimum of five to ten minutes doing light cardio before your workout to get your body warmed up.
Afterward, make sure you perform a few minutes of stretching or foam rolling to cool down properly. When you’ve done your cool-down routine, you should change out of any damp clothing right away.
Make the Most of Winter
There’s no reason to shy away from the outdoors during the wintertime! You can use the winter months to design a whole new workout. Take advantage of the season by getting into skiing or snowboarding. Give ice skating a try or test yourself by going for a run through the snow. With the right gear and the right attitude, winter can be an invigorating and exciting time to ramp up your exercise routine!
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