3 Tips for Exercising Safely in Winter
It may be all sunshine and flowers outside, right now, but before we know it those temperatures are going to drop and we’ll find those flower covered in a blanket of snow. However, just because it’s cold and wet outside, doesn’t mean we have to stop exercising outdoors. In fact, getting sunlight and being outside during this time can yield great health benefits during a time when you may be inclined to spend all of your time indoors. Here are some tips to keep your workout healthy and safe during the winter time…
Dress warm and light
Obviously, it’s not doing your body any good to get too cold. This can cause your muscles to cramp up and cause respiratory problems. With that in mind, it is important to dress warm for your winter exercise. The most recommended way to do this is to layer your clothes. The layer closest to your body should be a thin layer of synthetic fabric that won’t absorb moisture, preferably tight on the skin. After that, give yourself a layer of fleece to insulate your body heat and keep the cold from getting in. To top it all off, try wearing something light and weather resistant, like a windbreaker. In the process of layering, it’s important that you don’t wear too much or anything too heavy, as this will be cutting your workout short and can increase your risk of injury.
The cold air outside can cause your muscles to tighten if they aren’t properly stretched and warmed up. For this reason, it is recommended that you proceed with the warm up part of your workout routine indoors, as it will provide a comfortable and warm environment for your muscles to get prepped for the stress that you will put on them out in the cold. If your workout is going to be particularly long, head back to your home for a mid-workout stretch to keep your muscles from getting too affected by the cold. After you are done, don’t forget to stretch again as your muscles are coming down from the stress of exercise.
Drink lots of water
People have a tendency to experience less thirst in the winter, but strangely enough, our bodies tend to get more dehydrated in the winter. It is incredibly risky to be dehydrated during a workout at anytime, and that goes for winter. Be sure to drink lots of water before your workout, and don’t go for too long before fueling up again. Also make sure to drink room temperature water, because drinking cold water during a workout can cause your muscles to retract, creating a greater risk for injury.