The cold weather doesn’t have to mean putting a halt on your workouts – in fact the colder temperatures can work to your advantage! We’re going to look at how you can keep working out safely this winter, keep your body in top shape and benefit from those winter workouts.
If you like to get outdoors for your exercise, you’ll want to warm up properly. Make sure you get your body nicely warmed up before leaving the house by giving yourself a few minutes in front of the radiator or fire – this will ensure your muscles and joints are warmed and loosened up and ready to take on the cold. You’ll find this more beneficial than a typical warm-up exercise to start out. Next up you’ll want to get your arms loosened up. The best way to do this is to circle your shoulders and give your arms a shakeout for a few minutes as this will help to further loosen tight muscles and reduce the risk of strain or injury. Finally dress for the cold. Wear a hat and gloves to keep your body heat in and prevent feelings of numbness from the cold.
Know your body’s limits
The cold weather can put more strain on the body by pushing it to work harder than usual, so it’s important to know when you’ve had enough – and when to stop. If you notice difficulty breathing, coughing or unusual pains then stop. You can help to control your body’s reaction to the cold with controlled breathing. Although it’s tempting to give and pant when the workout gets tough, instead try to take controlled breaths through your nose. This will help warm up the cold air before it gets to your lungs making it feel much more comfortable and reducing the risk of irritation to your airways.
When you head out into freezing temperatures the last thing you probably want to do it neck an ice cold bottle of water, however staying hydrated is absolutely vital and your body still needs a regular intake of fluid to function properly. If cold water really doesn’t entice you, you could instead swap it for an isotonic sports drink for the winter months as the sugar contained in them lowers the freezing point.
When it comes to cold weather, there’s no reason why your exercise routine has to come to a halt. If you take the proper precautions and safety measures you can keep working out. Just the same as with any exercise, keep a tab on your body and know when you need to take a break.