Exercise is great, and exercise is fun, but it’s even greater and a lot more fun if you’re doing it outdoors. Except for when it’s cold outside. Then exercising outdoors is just the worst (or the best, if you really like a challenge). Considering that some of us go into hibernation mode at the merest whiff of a cold front, the cold weather is just another unwelcome hurdle on this wintery journey to the perfect summer body. If you’re having some difficulty sticking to your exercise routine this winter, we have a few tips to help you out.
A warm-up is a great way of acclimatising your body if you’re going out into the cold. You can ease yourself into the cold if you warm up inside with some light aerobic exercise before heading out for that morning or evening jog.
But not too warm. Layer your clothing so that you’re warm when you step outside, but that you don’t overheat when you begin your exercise or get too cold when you start to sweat and that sweat evaporates. Wear light jackets you can tie around your waist when you get too warm, and thermal exercise clothes.
Drinking cold water in winter is not fun for anybody, but just because it’s cold outside doesn’t mean you won’t sweat at all or your body won’t need more water to keep you going. Bring some water with you, or make sure to take breaks to stay hydrated. Make sure you moisturize your skin to keep it from drying out.
You can also just exercise indoors. If you’re a runner, hit the treadmill. If you’re a cyclist, take a spinning class, and if you’re a climber, the climbing gym should do the trick. Gym memberships aren’t cheap, but you can usually save money on a membership by getting off-peak memberships.
Be safe, be smart
If you are exercising outdoors, be smart about things like visibility in the winter. It gets darker earlier, so wear bright colours so motorists can see you. Leave the earphones at home when running so you’re more aware of what’s around you.