Everything you need to know about exercising in winter
December 16, 2019
We all know the importance of being as active as possible and that exercising on a regular basis helps us to achieve this. But, one huge consideration is how to exercise in winter weather when the days are bitterly cold, wet and dark.
If you are wondering how to exercise in winter weather then the good news is that with a positive mindset, and a few simple changes, you'll be able to exercise regularly and safely.
Exercising releases endorphins, gets the blood pumping and burns calories. We're all tempted to snuggle up warm indoors and binge on comfort food, rather than going for a run, but it's important that we get up off that sofa and keep active. So, carry on reading to find out everything you need to know about how to exercise in winter weather.
1. Always wear layers
It's very important to wear the correct workout gear during these cold, winter months. But, it can be incredibly difficult to know what types of clothes to wear.
As a basic rule, when running, jogging or cycling outside it's a good idea to wear a base layer of clothes that feature sweat-wicking properties. These help to keep sweat away from the skin, making you feel more comfortable.
Layers also keep you warm. Rule number one of going outside during the winter is to layer up! They help trap air, which keeps you warmer.
So add a warm workout fleece over top a moisture-wicking shirt, then finish with a waterproof jacket. This will keep any strong wind from penetrating your clothing. The colder the weather, the thicker the waterproof. Add a thin yet snug hat and some gloves and you're good to go.
2. Protect your hands and feet from the cold
Your hands, feet, and nose are all affected by the cold weather. They have less blood flowing through them, which means less heat. This is why you need to cover your head, hands and feet every time you go outside — especially if you're exercising.
Always wear a hat or a headband. Synthetic materials or wool are good choices, but it's best to avoid cotton. You also need to wear gloves or mittens, as your hands will become incredibly cold, incredibly quickly. If during your workout you become too hot, then you can always shove them into a jacket pocket.
It's important to wear thick socks to trap in heat. Again avoid cotton. What many runners find is that their trainers let the cold in and any heat out. A solution is to add a shoe cover to trap in heat, or alternatively wear a winter running shoe that is designed to keep feet warm.
3. Take supplements
Just like any other time of year, you should supplement your workout routine. Taking vitamins and supplements can help you stay on top of your game. These include vitamin D, protein, and collagen.
Collagen is one of the best supplements for working out, as it can help contribute to muscle repair, speed up recovery time, and look after joints and tendons. Collagen is the building block of protein, so it only makes sense that it would help contribute to better athletic performance.
4. Don't skip on the warm up
One top tip on how to exercise in winter weather is to always warm up before you begin. Never skip the warm-up, as it's the best way to avoid any injuries. This is because when you warm up you increase blood flow, which then warms up the muscles, making injury less likely. Squats, lunges and torso twists are all good ways to warm up those muscles.
5. You still need to keep hydrated
It's a common misconception that you don't need to drink water when working out in the winter months. In fact, it's just as important to drink water in the winter.
Even though you may not feel as thirsty, you will still need to replace those fluids that are lost through breathing and sweating. The best way to replace fluids while you work out is to sip water. This slow trickle of fluids will help to prevent dehydration. Then after exercising, opt for a drink that will replace any electrolytes and salts that have been lost.
6. Stay safe
Exercising during the winter does pose some problems, especially when considering how to exercise in winter weather safely. This is because of the darker days and icy pavements.
If you want to know how to keep safe at all times, there are a few rules you should follow. If exercising out and about at night, always tell someone where you will go. Wear bright and visible clothing and choose well-lit areas. Avoid wearing earbuds so that you can hear anyone approaching and remain vigilant. If the weather is particularly icy or rainy, then it's best to plan your jog or run for the following day, or work out indoors.
7. Stay indoors and embrace cardio
When the weather is too icy, that means it's the perfect time to stay indoors and do that cardio workout. You don't need to go outside. Simply get that heart rate up and burn those calories with an easy indoor workout. This can be something as simple as a set of jumps, skips and squats that are repeated. Alternatively, why not find an online dance workout or cardio routine to give you that extra boost of motivation?
8. Look after your skin
This may seem like a weird one, but when considering how to exercise in winter weather it's important to look after your skin.
This is because the combination of cold and dry weather can be damaging to our sensitive skin, and especially on our exposed hands and face. Always add moisturiser to your hands and face. A moisturiser with added UV protection is a good idea as it will also protect your skin from the winter sun. Then, to prevent a red and sore nose and lips, add a generous amount of Vaseline before you step out. Many runners will also add a scarf to protect their face from the chilly wind.
So, now that we know how to exercise in winter weather, we hope you enjoy your winter workouts safely!
To keep your body in tip-top condition while working out this winter, then please do check out Absolute Collagen. Just one sachet a day can help keep your going for longer. You can mix it into your post-workout smoothie or take straight from the sachet.