There are so many benefits to outdoor exercise so don't let harsh winter weather push you off your exercise bandwagon this winter. You can safely exercise outside by following these Fitness Training cold weather tips.
Winter can frustrate the most motivated exercisers. And if you’re not so motivated, it’s all too easy to pack it in when the weather gets cold. But keeping up your exercise routine in cold weather can be rewarding and keep you feeling energized and healthy all winter long.
For one thing, outdoor exercise is a sure cure for cabin fever and the winter blues. For many of us, lack of sunshine and fresh air lowers our energy level and leaves us feeling a little depressed and unmotivated. Aerobic Exercise outdoors combats the winter blues, increases energy and elevates our mood which is often times sapped by gloomy weather. Exercise also bolsters your immune system — studies show that moderate exercisers get 20 to 30 percent fewer colds than nonexercisers do. So staying on track with your Fitness Training this winter is a win-win!
Taking it outside...
Here’s how to safely get the most out of your cold-weather workout:
* Dress in layers that you can remove as soon as you start to sweat and then put back on as needed. Start with a thin layer of synthetic material such as polypropylene, which draws sweat away from your body. Avoid cotton, which stays wet next to your skin. Next, try fleece for insulation. Top this with a waterproof, breathable outer
layer. If it’s very cold or you have asthma, wear a face mask or a scarf over your mouth.
* Protect your extremities. Try wearing a thin pair of gloves under a pair of heavier gloves or mittens lined with wool or fleece. You might want to buy exercise shoes a half-size larger than usual to allow for thick thermal socks or an extra pair of regular socks. And don’t forget a hat or headband.
* Remember sunscreen. It’s as easy to get sunburned in winter as in summer
* Head into the wind. You’ll be less likely to get chilled on the way back if you end your workout — when you may be sweaty — with the wind at your back.
* Drink plenty of fluids. Drink water or sports drinks before, during and after your workout — even if you’re not thirsty. You can become just as dehydrated in the cold as in the heat.
If you prefer to stay inside this winter but are feeling bored with the eliptical or treadmill, check out your local gym's group exercise class schedule. Group exercise classes are a great way to make new friends, burn a ton of calories and have a lot of fun. Some great high calorie burning, energizing classes are spinning, hot yoga and bootcamp.
To make sure you stay on track, use a pedometer to count your steps and calories burned throughout your workout and your day. Following the 10,000 Steps Program is a great way to ensure you burn approximately 500 calories every day through physical activity. This a great benchmark number to hit as you continue on your fitness journey.
The bottomline... stay motivated. When it’s cold outdoors, there’s no need to hit the couch. With a little knowledge and fortitude, you can meet the challenges — and reap the rewards — of winter exercise. For many people, the solitude and quiet alone are reason enough to brave the elements.
Learn more about how you can make lifestyle resolutions with our personalized program. Click below to start the journey to a healthier, new you with the support of a medical doctor, registered dietitian, and certified personal trainer.
Dr. Deborah Neiman MD, Sari Greaves, RDN & Noelle Lusardi, CPT
49 U.S. Highway 202 Far Hills, NJ 07931 908-470-2235