As the cold weather settles in, you might be rethinking your workout habits. While heading over to Chuze Fitness for an indoor workout can be a great way to keep yourself warm during those long winter months, if you are looking forward to some outdoor exercise as well, keep these tips in mind:
Plan your wardrobe
Of course, you will need to dress differently for a cold weather workout. While you might normally favor tighter clothing for exercise, when it is cold outside, looser clothing can actually help keep you warm by keeping a layer of insulating air against your body. You should also be sure to dress in layers. That way you can remove layers as your temperature rises during your workout and put them back on as you cool down at the end. Pay attention to your body and take a short break now and then to adjust your layers as needed to keep yourself at a comfortable temperature. While your legs need less coverage than your torso, since they are likely keeping warm doing most of the work, you might want to consider giving your knees some extra coverage. Your knees naturally have poor circulation, which can lead to injury in the cold – so keeping them warm is important!
Before venturing out into the cold, take a few minutes to warm up inside. Jog in place or go up and down the stairs a few times to get your blood pumping. Not only will warming up your muscles make the cold outside not seem quite so bad, but it prepares your body for the upcoming workout and helps to prevent injury.
Plan for the weather
Winter weather is often more than just cold. If you are also dealing with conditions such as wind or rain, plan accordingly. For example, if it is a windy day, you might want to take your run downtown, where tall buildings can act as a shield. If you often run in the rain, you can dry your shoes out afterward by stuffing them with newspaper overnight. That way they will be ready for your next workout.
Be flexible with your goals
Keep in mind that even though exercising outside in the winter is a great idea, it might require different goals than exercising outside during the warmer months. If you are going for a run, you might not be able to go as far or as fast in the cold. It is perfectly acceptable and wise to adjust your goals. If the cold is really bothering you, you can also always try shortening your outdoor exercise and then head over to the gym to finish your workout inside.
It is easy to fall into a habit of hibernation during the winter because it seems hard and unpleasant to continue your regular routine of outdoor exercise. However, with the proper preparation and motivation, you can stay warm while continuing to enjoy the fresh air and sunshine of an outdoor workout.