How to Keep Working Out During the Winter
Winter can be an especially challenging time to stay motivated to exercise, and not just because the weather is colder, snowier and icier. Fewer daylight hours and changes in routine due to the holidays make it easy to get out of the exercise habit. Don’t lose your focus; plow through to warmer weather by following these tips.
- Team up. It’s harder to ditch your workout when you know someone is waiting for you. Find a friend to exercise with, sign up for a class or make an appointment with a trainer at your local gym to stay on track.
- Rework your schedule. If cold and darkness deter you from your usual morning workout, try mixing up your schedule. Take an exercise class over your lunch hour or a brisk walk when you get home from work.
- Dress in layers. Be sure your nose, fingers, ears and hands are well-protected from cold and wet conditions. Dress in layers, starting with a wicking layer that fits snugly against your skin. Add a middle insulating layer and top with a waterproof protective layer to repel the elements.
- Warm up first. Before heading outside, take five to 10 minutes to do some low-level aerobic exercise, such as jumping rope, climbing stairs or jogging in place, to get your heart beating faster. When you step outside, you’ll already be warm.
- Stay hydrated. You still sweat when it’s cold but you probably don’t think about hydration as much as you do in the summer. Stay hydrated by drinking water throughout the day, in addition to before, during and after workouts.
- Take it inside. When the weather is simply too frigid or icy for outdoor exercise, have a contingency plan. Use a stair climber, stationary bike or treadmill for the same amount of time that you would spend running or walking.
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