Working Out in the Cold: Winter Fitness Tips

As the temperature drops, so does the inspiration to be outside. The winter weather can oftentimes interfere with workout routines or with motivation, but winter can be a great time to get fit. With a few tips, you can stay active throughout the coldest months.

Work Out From Home

 

You don’t need a fancy or fully equipped gym to work out at home. People are often deterred from physical activity because of lack of equipment or gym memberships, but all you need for a great workout is your body and a little room. Check out the following tips:

 

  • Focus on mobility and functional movements. You might be able to get in a full workout in your living room that not only burns fat, but increases mobility and muscle. Buzzfeed has a good illustrative list of the only 12 exercises you need. These include body squats, lunges, push-ups, and sit-ups. Perform these movements correctly with a good pace and in varying combinations.
  • Put on your favorite music and dance. Turn on your favorite music and dance as you clean, throw in some body movements like push-ups and squats, or simply have a solo dance session to get your body moving.
  • Take a trip to your local park. Put on your sneakers and go for a walk or a run.
  • One exercise regimen that doesn’t require much equipment or space is yoga. Explore internet resources and learn a few yoga poses on your own.

 

 

Embrace the Cold

 

While the cold weather might seem daunting, working out in the elements might prove more fun than you think. There are proven benefits to forcing your body to work in colder temperatures. According to the Huffington Post, there are several benefits for icy workouts. Some of these include:

 

  • Burn more calories: As your body works harder to regulate its temperature, you might actually be burning more calories.
  • It’ll make you tough: Challenging yourself off that couch and into the cold will help acclimate you to cold weather and make it easier and less scary.
  • Vitamin D: As your mother said when you were young, you need a healthy dose of sun to feel good.
  • Winter sports: Try a new fun winter sport that will add some variety. Some of these winter sports include ice skating, sledding, skiing, and snow tubing. These activities not only take your mind off the cold, but they help you embrace it.

 

Proper Layering

 

A few simple tips on proper attire can go a long way when you’re looking to try some winter workouts outside. The wrong clothes can turn a potentially good workout experience into a negative one.

 

As LiveStrong suggests, it’s important to dress in layers. This makes it easy to adjust as the temperature drops or as needed. Consider the different layers:

 

  • Base layer: Avoid cotton and look for materials that “wick” sweat off the body.
  • Insulation layer: Search for a light, breathable material like fleece to keep cold out and warmth in.
  • Outer layers: This layer is especially important if it’s raining, windy, or snowing. This can be in the form of pullovers or jackets, such as polyester blends.

 

The Overall Benefits

It’s no secret that staying active keeps your body strong by building bone density and strengthening muscles including the heart. At the same time, exercise has some significant mental health benefits that manifest in different ways, including aiding memory and thinking skills and producing stress-relieving hormones.

 

Not only does exercise reduce stress, but it also boosts your positive, motivating emotions, too. Part of this is biology—the body is regulating itself during exercise, but it also has to do with seeing and feeling the results of your efforts.

 

All you have to do is begin today. The rest of the motivation will come after you see and feel the results. Don’t let the winter weather keep you from putting together an exercise plan and reaping the benefits. If you have fun and layer up properly, you won’t even feel the cold, but you will feel the surge of positive energy as your body moves.

 

Photo Credit: Pixabay

 

This entry was posted in Elements Salon and Wellness Spa Blog by Jason Lewis. Bookmark the permalink.

About Jason Lewis

My name is Jason Lewis, and I am a personal trainer. In 2002, I became the primary caretaker for my mother after her surgery. I realized, as I helped her with her recovery, there is a special need for trainers that can assist the seniors in our community. I worked with my mother’s doctor, as well as other personal trainers, to create programs that are considerate to the special health needs of those over the age of 65.

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