Have you ever felt cramped while jogging in the winter? Do you need to take extra precautions while exercising in the winter? If you find yourself dwelling on these questions, read on to know some ways in which you can protect yourself from the low temperatures of winter.
Although winter mornings are beautiful, they can be quite cold; no pun intended. Exercising in this weather is difficult, and more often than not, you’ll be tearing yourself away from the bed in the morning. Cramps are quite common as the body takes time to adjust to the cold morning air. It is thus important to use adequate protection.
Here are some important tips for exercising in this weather:
Fitness Tips For Winters
1. Try Various Winter Activities
Winter activities are fun to do. They also help in maintaining fitness. Activities and workouts like Ice Skating and downhill skating helps you in burning 500 and 250 calories respectively. If you get a chance, even a snowball fight will burn off the calories.
There are many skating rinks opening up these days. So, what are you waiting for? Grab your loved ones for some fun and frolic.
2. Take A Walk
Daily walks are suggested. It is easy and effective. If morning walk isn’t possible, then go for an evening walk. It not only helps in burning calories but also increases the flow of blood. This helps in boosting up your heart and lungs.
And above all, walking is a great stress buster and a noble way of keeping fit in winter.
3. Postpone Your Workout Sessions
In winters, the early morning fitness routine can be potentially dangerous for blood pressure patients. Avoid early morning exercise if you suffer from Blood pressure or any heart-related issues.Try and postpone your routine to a later time.
Consult your doctor about early morning fitness routines.Try and buddy up, so that you can get prompt help in case of any emergency.
4. Cut Down On Exercise Time
If you exercise for 2 hours in the summer, ideally you should reduce the time to 1 ¼ or even 1 hour. If you normally jog around three km, you should consider reducing the distance as any halts along the way result in sharp drops in body temperature.
5. Skin Protection
If you workout outdoors, then it is important to take care of your skin by applying a sunscreen lotion.
UV rays can lead to sunburn and even melanoma.
- Opt for broad spectrum / water-resistant sunscreen with at least 50 SPF.
- Apply generously.
- Reapply every 2 hours.
- Try and keep your hands covered up.
6. Warm-up Indoor
Warm up is important before any fitness routine. Invest at least 10 minutes for stretching muscles and warm up.
- Try a combination of dynamic and static stretches.
- Warm up your core and torso. Don’t forget to warm up your ankles.
- You can try jumping jacks and lunges.
- Spot-jog for about 5-7 minutes. If you are going out jogging, take a 30-second break once every 2 minutes for the initial 10-15 minutes. It helps your body adjust to the weather (1).
7. Stay Dry
After a workout, we sweat a lot. Try and change out of your damp clothes soon as possible and wear dry clothes. Opt for moisture wicking fabric for your T-shirt and socks.
8. Dress In Layers
Dressing in layers is one of the important things to do while exercising in cold weather. Remove extra layers as the exercise generate heat. Put the dress back on when evaporation makes you feel chilled. Dressing in layers is the best way to regulate your body temperature.
9. Protect The Hands, Feet, And The Head
In cold weather, our body’s core gets most of the heat. The hands, feet, and head are vulnerable to the cold. Make sure you protect them from the cold (2).
10. Drink Fluids
Have you noticed that the skin seems drier in winter? Well, the winter wind can dry your skin up fast, and the extra urination can lead to rapid dehydration. So it’s equally important to stay hydrated in cold weather. To exercise in cold weather, stay hydrated (3).
11. Yoga/ Pilates
Yoga is always a good option to stay healthy, whether be winters or summers. It is suitable for children as well as adults.
- It is a great way to keep the muscles limber.
- Help in relaxation and stress busting.
- Pilates builds a strong muscle core and also improves the body posture.
These exercises can be performed indoor, leaving you with no excuses.
12. Indoor Swimming
If you have an option and have access to indoor swimming, then jump in and swim for at least 10 minutes.
- Indoor swimming is good during winters for mental as well as physical health.
- It is also said that swimmers tend to have a long life.
- Swimming stimulates endorphins, and hence, you feel happier.
13. Don’t Go Too Fast
Reduce the speed of your workout or jog. Remember that rhythm is more important than speed. This is especially important as cold weather slows you down.
14. Run With The Wind
Before you begin a jog or an outdoor exercise routine, check the wind direction. Start jogging in the direction of the wind and not against it. The logic behind this tip is that you’ll be sweating during the workout. When you run with the wind, the wind will be blowing at your back, and you won’t catch a cold.
15. Avoid Escalators, Choose Stairs
Taking stairs is the simplest way to stay fit. We become lethargic and lazy with the use of escalators and elevators.
- Opt for stairs as this will add to your fitness regimen.
- Blood circulation will be boosted due to this extra effort.
- Can be done indoors at your pace.
16. Workout With An Exercise Partner
Working out with a partner can help you shake off the lazy winter morning effect. It’s difficult to skip a routine when someone’s waiting for you at the front door. A partner can help you track your personal goals and push you to get up and get going.
17. Try Fun Social Activities
Winter fitness tips can also include fun and social activities, like playing bowling with friends, or dancing on your favorite track, or any such activities. They keep you active and let you get moving throughout the day.
So, this winter avoid being lazy and sad and follow these fitness tips for winter for a fitter and more fabulous you. In case all else fails, try and convince a buddy to join you in your fitness goals. Having a buddy will keep you motivated.