It’s the new year! Which means it’s time for a fresh start and resolutions. From saving money to making healthy decisions, we all have progress and change on our minds! With the winter weather, it can be tough to start of resolutions like working out or exercising more.. But with these 5 winter exercise tips, you’re sure to be warm and injury-free all season long.
1. Dress Dry & Warm
The fastest way to lose body heat is to get wet. This is because water is a great heat conductor. That’s why it’s important to not only dress warmly but dry too! Rather than dressing in something made of cotton, opt for synthetic fibers like polyester, nylon, and polypropylene, which all dry quickly and wick moisture! And make sure to layer up! Piling on the clothes will trap warm air close to your body and keep out the elements. Start with a thin base layer to pull away sweat. Then, wear a middle layer like polar fleece. Finally, add a shell specifically to keep snow, rain, and wind at bay. As you heat up, peel off your layers and tie them around your waist!
2. Do A Warm-Up
You always need to warm up before you exercise — even in the summer heat. Still, it’s especially important to prep in the cold temperatures because you’re at an increased risk for sprains and strains. Pick a dynamic warm-up with low-intensity movements that match the exercise you plan on performing. For runners and walkers, consider lunges, squats, and core activation work!
3. Check Your Traction
Winter weather can cause roads and sidewalks to get slippery! With ice, rain, and snow involved, it’s important to check your traction in order to avoid injury. Remain vigilant. Roads and trails may be undermaintained. Hidden obstacles might be lurking. With shorter days, there’s low visibility. Be aware of your surroundings. Make sure that your sneakers are in good condition. If they aren’t, purchase a new pair right away! If you’ve got a solid pair of kicks, but you’re planning to run on snow or ice, attach snow and ice spikes to reduce your risk of falls.
4. Stay Hydrated
Even if you don’t feel as thirsty in the cold weather as you might in the heat, you’re still losing fluids through sweat. Ergo, you must replace those fluids by drinking water! Sip water during your workout and switch to a sports drink to replace electrolytes after 90 minutes. Make sure that your beverages are room temperature too! Cold liquids are absorbed more quickly while room temperature beverages are better at keeping your internal temperature optimal.
5. Cool Down & Remove Wet Gear
Did you know that going straight from strenuous exercise to stillness creates stress on your heart? That’s why it’s important not to skip your cool down or after workout stretch. There’s nothing worse for your body than going straight to a sedentary position after a hard session… So make sure that you do some limbering movements for 5 to 10 minutes in order to reduce potential muscle soreness. Once you’ve done that, get out of those damp workout clothes, which can suck away warmth. Take a warm shower, dry off put on clean, warm clothes.