Staying Safe During Winter Workouts
Winter is upon u and being bundled up inside seems like the only place to be. This is a season that often threatens our exercise routines. Cold temperatures, dark mornings and evenings, snow and ice – there are all kinds of excuses to prevent you from hitting the trails or the gym. Consider these tips to keep your workouts in check over the next few months:
- Switch it up– You can use the cold weather as an excuse to change up your workout routine or try a new indoor sport. Your body benefits from participating in an array of physical activities that work and strengthen different groups of muscles. Instead of your usual 5 mile neighborhood trek, try swimming laps in an indoor pool.
- Build flexibility– Stretching works to loosen and warm your muscles before a workout and helps prevent cramping and soreness when cooling down. Flexibility also helps allow your body to perform at its best. Need to get up and do something, but can’t leave the house? Allow yourself an some time to really stretch your muscles (anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour) and then try a stationary workout, like sets of crunches, push-ups or squat jumps.
Stay Smart Outdoors: Winter Workouts
Some conditions allow for cold weather workouts as long as you take certain precautionary measures. No one can keep you from working out in extreme weather, but doing it responsibly is completely up to you.
- Cover up- Exposure is what makes you vulnerable to the dangers of cold weather. Depending on the temperature, be sure to cover certain areas of your body to either better maintain internal temperature or protect vulnerable skin from frostbite. Covering your skin doesn’t mean waddling out for a run in a ski suit. Overdressing is actually one of the most dangerous things you can do in cold weather. Wearing too many clothes causes you to sweat more and holds in that sweat (which will become cold). Wear a thin, water resistant layer (you can have more than one) of clothing between you and the winter air. Cover your head with a hat.
- Factor it all in- What’s the windchill? Is there a chance of precipitation? Is there ice on the ground? Is the sun out? What is the humidity level? There are several things you should consider before making the decision that a workout is safe.