The dark days of winter are upon us and one way to beat the winter blues is to get outside event if it is cold. It’s important to get outdoors and get your exercise in especially during the winter. Experts say that while this is a healthy decision, there are a few things that you should keep in mind before you head outdoors this winter:
1. Remember to warm up first- Just like you were working out indoors, warming up first before you get started working out outdoors is definitely important. Colder temperatures can cause your muscles to tighten up, so a proper warm up session will help prevent injury.
2. Dress in layers- According to Mayoclinic.com, one of the biggest mistakes you can make while exercising in cold weather is to dress too warmly. Exercise generates a lot of heat and sweat but once that sweat starts to dry you can get chilled. So dress in layers that you can remove as you start to sweat and then put back on as needed.
3. Drink up- Working out outdoors is no different than indoors when it comes to hydration. Drink even when you do not feel thirsty.
4. Protect your hands, feet and ears- When it’s cold outside your blood flow is concentrated in your body’s core, leaving your extremities like hands, feet and ears vulnerable to frostbite. Consider a thin pair of gloves under heavier gloves and adjust to your body’s temperature, wear thermal socks and don’t forget your hat or headband to protect your ears.
5. Don’t strip down when you come back inside- Give your body time to adjust from your outdoor workout. Post-exercise hypothermia is possible, so be sure to let your body adjust before taking off all of those layers.
6. Choose appropriate gear- If it’s dark when you’re exercising outside, wear reflective clothing. Also choose shoes with plenty of traction to prevent falls and consider chemical heats packs to keep hands and feet warm
By keeping these tips in mind you’re sure to have an effective and pleasant winter outdoor exercise experience.