I struggle enough as it is to maintain any kind of regularity with my workout routine. But my workouts really take a hit in wintertime because, let’s face it: this New England girl does not enjoy being cold!! Brrr! Soooooo… whenever I realize I’m doing poorly at something, I analyze it and figure out ways to make it better… so here’s my tips for winter workouts – mostly for my own reminding but I also hope it helps you out too!
Why make the effort for Winter Workouts
First, let’s remind ourselves why we want to make the extra effort to workout in the winter months:
1. Exercise boosts your endorphins – those feel good hormones – which is always a great mood-lifter in winter months!
2. Getting outside into the fresh air is good, but more so, the natural light is also helpful in fighting depression and seasonal affective disorder.
3. The colder weather means your body has to work a little harder keeping you warm and working out. So your winter workout gives you greater calorie-burning power! Yippee!
Tips for Winter Workouts
Now, how to make yourself comfortable and stay healthy during a winter workout:
4. Wear layers – I guess this goes without saying because, hello, cold!? But I think people either a) assume they’ll get hot so they don’t layer up, or b) (and this is me!) hate the cold so overdress without a lot of options for cooling off once the workout starts.
- Get some good cold gear like Under Armour’s layering pieces, and you’ll moderate your body temp better over the course of your workout!
- Wear a hat or headband to protect your ears. Or maybe a balaclava for full head coverage.
- Grab a pair of gloves you have to protect your extremities. Wear glove liners under the gloves if you need to.
- Be sure your socks are thick enough for the weather but not so thick as to make your shoes uncomfortable.
5. Hydrate! – it’s easy to forget to drink enough water when the sweat isn’t pouring off you like in the summertime. And, when you’re cold, the last thing you want is to gulp cold water down! But you’re still using up your fluids. The best idea I have for this is to measure your water so you’re sure to continue drinking the same amount as during warmer months.
6. Pick a cleared area – you’ll have to be especially watchful for black ice, or uneven pavement and snow ridges in winter. Plan ahead to run, walk, bike, hike in areas that are well-maintained to avoid injury.
7. Start and end indoors – begin your workouts by stretching inside for 5-10 minutes, then move to the outdoors and gradually ease into your workout. When you’re through, reverse that process by slowing your workout for about five minutes, then continuing your cool down indoors.
I hope these tips keep you (and me!) going this winter with fresh-air workouts. Even just walking is going to be a boost to the system during the darker winter months!
What are your motivating tips for winter workouts?
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