Stay Active When the Weather Gets Cold

It’s that time of year when you put your warm-weather work out shorts and tank top away and bring out the sweats and warm socks. It’s so easy to want to cocoon in the house where it’s toasty warm; going outside to exercise in cold weather can seem like a daunting task.

But there’s no need to pack away the workout gear or hibernate inside the gym. There are lots of ways to enjoy the outdoors even in colder weather. Exercising outdoors during colder temperatures, whether running, skiing, ice-skating, hiking or other outdoor activities, can be completely safe as long as we follow a few necessary precautions. Cold Weather Exercise Basics Exercise generates body heat. Research suggests that no matter what the thermostat reads the human body will work to maintain its normal temperature of 98.6°F. So even though it may seem like a better idea to stay inside where it’s warm, almost everyone can exercise safely in cold weather.

Stay Active with Regular Exercise Stay Active with Regular Exercise

 

In fact, exercising in colder weather puts less stress on the body, which actually makes it easier to work out. Here are some tips to consider when planning your out-of-doors cold weather activities: Keep hydrated. This goes without saying in all weather. But this is just as true in cold weather as warm because cold air does not hold much moisture and is quite dry. Dry air can cause respiratory problems, especially in people with asthma or other respiratory conditions. So drink your water!

Drink Water in Cold Weather Keep Your Body Hydrated

 

Keep moving. Staying active will help prevent hypothermia. Dress warmly and in layers – but not too warmly. Wearing too many layers will hinder your movement and can cause you to sweat excessively, which has the undesirable effect of cooling off your body. You should feel cool before exercising so that you will be comfortable as your body heats up.

Dress Warmly in Cold Weather Dress Warmly in Cold Weather

 

Make sure you warm up properly. Muscles take longer to loosen up in the cold, so if you’re doing a workout warm up slowly and gradually quicken your pace. Gear up for the cold. Try lightweight base-layer tops, a warmer running/cycling jacket, warm gloves and a hat. If you need more insulation wear tights under your pants. If it’s really cold try wearing a balaclava helmet or ski mask for protection. If you’re just really not inclined to exercise outdoors the gym can be a great option. You can work out on the treadmill, elliptical or stationary bicycling machines. Other options are taking classes like aerobics, spinning or kickboxing. Once you’re done with your cardio, you can strength train, stretch and even hit the hot tub before you head home. There are lots of ways to work out at home too. Try pilates or yoga videos, cardio, strength training or circuit training routines. Home workouts can be challenging and many require no equipment. Put on some music and get moving!

Encourage Kids to Keep Active Too! Encourage Kids to Keep Active Too!

 

The most important thing about exercising when it’s cold out is to do it! Keep things interesting as possible by trying new activities and finding someone to workout with. Having a workout buddy can be the best way to stay motivated! What is your favorite way to exercise when it’s cold outside? We’d love to hear what works for you!

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