Winter Workout Tips
With winter in full swing many a Bostonians are bundling up and hunkering down for a long and cold season. Working out on a routine basis is hard enough as is, but when it’s only 20 degrees outside getting the courage to face the bitter weather is a tough game to play. But just because it’s cold and wet outside, that doesn’t mean your workout routine has to stop. Here are four winter workout tips to keep you moving.
Dress for the cold.
Your nose, fingers, and ears are the first to freeze, so be sure to keep them well protected if you are working out outside. Never leave home without your gloves and earmuffs! Fun fact, mittens keep your hands warmer than gloves by creating a big warm air pocket around your entire hand. You’ll also want to wear multiple layers: the base layer should be made of moisture-wicking synthetic material. If you go with your regular cotton t-shirt your sweat won’t evaporate as easily and you’re more likely to get the chills. Your mid-layer is there to insulate you from the cold, and continue to move moisture outward so a good fleece or wool sweater will do. The third layer is what keeps you dry when it’s wet and cold, so a good shell (doesn’t have to be puffy!) is also a worthwhile investment.
Warm up and cool down inside.
Get warm before you go outside by doing some light aerobic exercise, like jogging in place or jumping jacks, inside. You’ll warm up more as you get moving outside, but it makes it much easier to face the cold and wet if you’re already a little warm! And when you’re doing working out, cool down and stretch inside so you don’t freeze as your core body temperature dips. When you stop working out, your body temperature drops rapidly, increasing your risk for hypothermia.
It’s actually very easy to become dehydrated in the winter. Even though you aren’t sweating as much as when you work out in the summer months, the dry air is leaching the water right out of you! Think how thirsty you are at the end of your run in the summer; you should be drinking that much water at the end of your winter work out. It’s better to take your winter workouts a little slower until you get used to how your body will react to the colder temperatures.
Because of snow and ice, it’s also important you go slower in the winter than usual and watch your step. Slipping on a patch of black ice will lay you up for the rest of the winter so also be sure stay on well lit paths where you can watch one foot land in front of the other.
Find something new to do.
Running on a treadmill all winter long can get a bit boring, especially if you are fan of working out outside. Stay motivated this winter (even when your best blanket is begging you to stay in) by trying a new workout routine. Try kickboxing, Pilates, rock climbing, ice skating, barre-based workouts, dance and more. Changing up your fitness routine will keep you motivated and make it easier to get moving each day.