The cooling temperatures and brisk winds of winter can wreak havoc on an established workout regimen, especially if you workout primarily outdoors. Thankfully, though, if you are intentional about your exercise routine, a few well-formulated modifications can be all that’s necessary to help you maintain your workout throughout the winter months. Read on for a few winter weather workout tips from our team of fitness experts:
Best Workout Practices For Cool Weather
Dress in Layers
Many people make the mistake of dressing too warmly for outdoor workouts in cool weather. This is a mistake because as soon as your heart starts pumping and your blood flow increases, you will begin to sweat if you are dressed too warmly. Of course, beginning an outdoor run in very light clothing isn’t the answer either, as you will be way too cold early on in the process. The answer to this problem is layering. Pair thick yoga pants ir soft yoga pants with a t-shirt underneath exercise apparel like a wicking pullover. Women’s active wear that is designed to be layered is ideal so you can remove layers as your body warms up but keep yourself warm before you get to that point.
Pay Attention to the Weather
Even when you prepare accordingly, some winter weather is simply unsafe to be in, such as when the conditions are below freezing with excessive ice or snow. Therefore, in the winter months, before going out for a run, make sure you check the forecast. If the weather is too inhospitable, it’s best to switch to an indoor workout, at least for that day, until things are safe for you to be outside once again.
Make Sure You Drink Fluids and Use Sunscreen
When it’s hot outside, it’s a no-brainer that you will need to hydrate and to protect your skin using sunscreen. However, even when the temperature outside is cooler, you still need to be diligent about hydration and ensure your skin is protected from the sun’s rays. You can get sunburnt just as easily in the winter as you can in the summer.
Know the Signs of Hypothermia and Frostbite
In the winter months, the primary dangers to your health when outdoors are hypothermia and frostbite. It’s a good idea to know the signs of these conditions so you can recognize potential danger and get to safety. Frostbite early warning signs include feeling a stinging sensation, a loss of feeling in extremities or numbness. Hypothermia causes fatigue, loss of coordination, slurred speech and intense shivering. If you notice these symptoms, get out of the cold air and into the warm safety of the indoors. In some cases, you should even seek a medical evaluation after experiencing these symptoms.
Protect Your Extremities
Your hands, ears and feet are the most vulnerable when it comes to frostbite. Make sure you wear a hat (toboggan), gloves and thick socks when working out outdoors to protect your body’s most vulnerable areas. These accessories should be part of any exercise apparel you wear when exercising outdoors when it’s cold.
Change The Time of Day You Work Out
The summer months are often the hottest in the midday or early evenings, so most times you want to workout early or later in the evening. In the winter, this routine might need tweaking. It’s often too cool and even too dark to work out in the evening and the mornings are also very cold. In the winter, try to aim for the heat of the day, midday or early afternoon workouts.
Use the tips listed above to formulate a new exercise routine for the winter months. Don’t let the coolness of the weather derail your progress. Simply make some smart modifications like those listed above and press on.