The temps are dropping, but that doesn’t mean you need to drop your workout routine until next spring. Cold weather workouts can be beneficial and even enjoyable if you take proper precautions. You’ll get a good dose of Vitamin D just by being outside in the sun (something we could all use more of during the winter months), and you’ll burn more calories taking your workout outdoors vs. indoors because your body works a little harder to regulate its core temperature. So, if you’re motivated to crawl out from under your warm blanket, take these four precautionary tips into consideration.
1. Have A Plan
Always check the weather forecast before going out to exercise in cooler weather. If the prediction is below 0 degrees Fahrenheit or the wind chill is dangerously low, you might want to opt for an indoor workout instead. Also, to prevent falls, map out your route ahead of time and avoid areas that may be snow-covered or icy.
2. Warm Up Properly
Stay inside for your warm up. Take 10 minutes to stationary cycle or jog in place to help get your muscles warmed up and ready for your workout.
3. Don’t Forget to Hydrate
Although you may not be drenched in sweat in the winter like you are during a summer workout, you still need to drink enough to avoid dehydration. (Plus, cold, dry air leaches more moisture from your lungs, i.e., seeing your breath).
4. Wear the Proper Equipment
Choose the right layers of clothing that will protect your skin from the wind and cold. Depending on the temperature, you might need a tight-fitting base layer (made of compression material to help wick away sweat), a middle layer for extra warmth, and an outer layer for protection from the elements (such as a windproof jacket). Choose synthetic materials for your base layer, and don’t forget about your head, hands, ears, and toes. Hats, gloves, and warm socks are a must.
As with any exercise, listen to your body and don’t push yourself if it doesn’t feel right. Cold weather may mean you have to dial back your effort just a tad until your body is acclimatized to performing in cooler temps. If you experience any pain this winter, whether it’s exercise-induced or otherwise, give us a call. Our team is ready to keep your body comfortable, regardless of the temperature.