Winter weather has decided to start early this year and with the holidays just around the corner, our friends at Quality Home Fitness have put together this list of important safety tips for your winter fitness routine. It seems that winter weather has decided to start early this year. I totally understand if your workout routine tapers off somewhat during the winter months.
Safety Tips to Keep In Mind During Your Winter Exercise Routine
Even if you aren’t a diehard fitness junky, working out in the winter months can be challenging but keeping up with your winter fitness routine is doable.
Wear Clothing That Will Keep You Dry
Exercising outside during the winter often exposes you to freezing temperatures so it is super important that you stay dry. You want to wear lightweight polyester because it contains moisture-wicking properties that draws the sweat from your skin. Materials that contain cotton, including socks, should be avoided because they hold moisture.
Naturally, your body sweats when you are working out and you don’t want your clothing to hold the sweat against your skin. Wearing clothing that traps the sweat on your skin can lead to hypothermia. Depending on where you live and the weather conditions, hypothermia can set in very quickly and leave you vulnerable to frostbite, unable to think clearly, or become unconscious.
Photo by Vlad Tchompalov on Unsplash
Always Dress in Layers
Before heading outside to exercise in winter weather, you should always dress in multiple layers. Growing up my mom always told us to bundle up and wear multiple layers even if we didn’t think it was that cold. She explained that it is better to have on too much clothing than not enough. This same concept applies to working out during winter weather. As you warm up, it is easier to shed a layer of clothing rather than being stuck in the middle of your workout a few blocks away from home freezing your butt off.
Don’t forget to cover your head and ears. Your body naturally loses 7 to 10 percent of its body heat through your head. When working out in frigid temperatures, it doesn’t take long for your ears and extremities to show the signs and symptoms of frostbite. So do make sure that you wear proper socks, footwear, gloves, and something that covers your ears if your hat doesn’t. For added protection, you can even wear a ski mask.
Exercising outside when it is snowing comes with added dangers and it is important that you dress accordingly. The best way to deal with extremely frigid temperatures or snow is to wear an insulating jacket over a polyester base, and then add wind and water repellant outer layer. The water-repellent layer will protect your clothing from getting wet.
Stay Hydrated During Your Winter Fitness Routine
Even though it is cold outside and it doesn’t always feel like you are drenched in sweat as you do during the summer months. It is important to make sure that you are still drinking plenty of water during the day. Experts recommend that you drink at least 64 ounces a day even during the winter months.
During the winter, you probably have noticed that the air tends to be drier, and hydration goes far beyond taking care of your bodily functions. Your skin needs additional water to stay hydrated during the winter. Don’t forget to add lotion after your shower and apply lip balm frequently.
Choose to Wear Bright Colors
When the snow is coming down hard or the lights reflecting off the snow on the ground, keep in mind that you may be harder to see in the wintertime. This weather makes it easy to become invisible to drivers so choose to wear brightly colored clothing and reflective top layers. You can easily add reflective material to your jacket, hat, pants, shoes, and gloves.
The reflective material can improve your chances of others seeing you. You can also wear a headlight or use the blicking armbands, shoe clips (aff link), or reflective vests. No matter what time of day you decided to go outside and exercise you should always wear safety equipment so that drivers can see you clearly. The last thing you need to happen is to be out enjoying your workout only to get hit by a car.
Take a Buddy With You
Working out with a buddy is always fun. Plus, you are safer when there are several people exercising together. So if you find that you are struggling with your winter workout routine, grab a buddy and go on your daily run or exercise routine. Having a workout buddy can also hold you accountable for getting your workout done too.
Warm Up Inside First
Instead of, heading outside before your body is warm, try getting your heart pumping indoors first. Start out with some jumping jacks, push-ups, lower leg bodyweight exercises, or running in place. Soon you will start to feel your body warm up and you will be excited to go outside where the air is crisp and cold. It is tough to stay motivated to work out during the winter, especially in frigid temperatures.
Try Something New
Are you struggling to stay motivated this winter? Maybe it is time to find a new winter exercise routine, especially when the weather makes working out difficult. I understand if you don’t find working out during the winter fun or driving to the gym on snow-covered roads have you stressed out. While these are just excuses in the end, now is a great time to try that yoga class online, utilize bodyweight exercises, or build a home gym. A home builder, Clint Cook in Jackson, Wyoming, recommends enjoying exercise inside your beautiful home-like kickboxing in the comfort of your living room. Need some more ideas to try, head over to Pinterest and search for some alternative winter exercises.
Exercising outside during the winter can get tricky, especially when the temperatures are below freezing or the roads are covered in snow or ice. But with a bit of motivation, you too can keep your winter exercise routine going, even if it means finding some new exercises.
Keep in mind that if you do end up exercising outside, you need to dress appropriately and make sure that you stay on top of drinking plenty of water throughout the day. But lastly, don’t forget to have fun while sticking to your winter exercise routine.
Photo by Simon Matzinger on Unsplash