Do you think that you need to stop working out this winter simply because it's cold outside?
Think again! Even if you live in a place where the temperature drops below freezing on a regular basis, you can still get good workouts in outside as long as you're committed to maintaining your winter fitness.
But before you start exercising in the cold, you're going to want to make sure that you stay safe at all times. Working out in cold weather will often present unique challenges that you don't face at other times of the year.
Check out 7 tips for staying safe while you exercise in the cold below.
1. Invest in Plenty of Winter Workout Gear
Do you have winter workout gear that's designed specifically for working out in cold weather?
If not, you're going to need to invest in some immediately before you start exercising outside this winter. It'll keep your body warm while you work out and prevent you from dealing with the consequences of working out in windy and wet conditions.
You should look for winter workout gear that looks good. But more importantly, you should also look for gear that will offer you protection from wind, snow, rain, sleet, and more.
Additionally, you should get into the habit of dressing in layers for your winter fitness workouts. You can always take things off if you get too warm, but you're going to be in a world of trouble if you realize you're freezing cold halfway through a long run.
2. Put On a Hat and Gloves While Working Out
Contrary to what you may have heard in the past, people do not lose half their body heat through their heads. You only lose about 10 percent of your body heat through it.
But don't let that stop you from putting on a hat prior to a workout outside in the wintertime. It'll trap more heat inside of your body and offer up some protection to your ears at the same time.
You should also wear gloves whenever you're working out outside in the wintertime since you could catch frostbite if you don't. Choose gloves that will cover your hands while still allowing you to access your smartphone to play music.
3. Make Sure You Warm Up Before Every Workout
You might be tempted to start working out right away when you step outside in the winter without warming up first. The quicker you get started, the quicker you can get back inside, right?
This is the wrong move to make since you could make yourself susceptible to injuries if you don't warm up your body prior to a workout. Your muscles will be stiffer and less flexible in the colder temperatures, which will put you at risk for a muscle pull or tear as you work out.
Rather than jumping right into a winter fitness workout, begin by doing some of these warmup activities inside:
- Jumping jacks
- Quad and hamstring stretches
- And more
The more you warm up, the better you'll feel when your workout starts. Your body will be prepared to get down to business when it's all warmed up and loose.
4. Make Sure You Cool Down When You're Done, Too!
You made it through your winter workout unscathed! Now, it's time to run right back inside and get warmed up.
But first, you should make sure that you put your body through a short cool down period. It should include doing some light stretching and walking around to let your heart slow down following your workout.
This will prevent your muscles from tightening up on you later. It'll also give you a few minutes to catch your breath before you get back inside and start recuperating.
5. Drink Lots of Water Before, During, and After Workouts
You may not sweat as much during your winter workouts as you do during the summer. But that doesn't mean your body doesn't still need lots of water.
If you choose not to drink enough water, your body may get dehydrated, which could lead to an injury or an illness. So make every effort to take in a lot of water on workout days.
It can be difficult to gulp down ice-cold water in the winter. But room temperature water will work just as well and will keep you hydrated when you're working out.
6. Wear Shoes That Provide You With Good Traction
You should always wear shoes with good traction when you're working out. But it's incredibly important to do it when you work out in the winter.
The ground is often covered by wet leaves, slushy snow, and slippery ice in the wintertime. All three of these things can cause you to slip if you're not working out in shoes with good traction.
Invest in a good pair of sneakers with lots of traction on them. And check the bottom of your sneakers every so often to make sure they're not losing their grip.
7. Avoid Working Out Once It Gets Dark
The sun goes down early in the winter. That can make it tough for workout warriors to avoid working out once it gets dark.
But if you can avoid it, you should do it at all costs. The chances of you getting hit by a vehicle increase in the winter due to the darkness.
If you're going to work out in the dark, you should, at the very least, make sure your clothing has reflective material on it. This will make it easier for others to see you once the sun goes down.
These Winter Fitness Tips Will Keep You in Great Shape
By working out in the winter, you can put yourself in the perfect position to look your best once the spring and summer roll around.
But make sure you use the winter fitness tips listed here to your advantage. The last thing you want to do is risk your health for the sake of a winter workout.
Would you like to come in out of the cold to work out this winter? Read our blog for tips on choosing the right gym.