Snow is beautiful, especially the first snow or the snow on Christmas Eve. After that, it starts getting really old, really fast, until you’ve had enough and welcome spring with open arms. Everything is a bit more difficult in the winter, even workouts. That’s why it’s important to make sure you winterize them, as you would the drains and pipes of RVs, campers, boats and pools. No, it doesn’t mean you add antifreeze or wrap yourself in heat tape but make a few strategic changes.
If you’re a runner, remember to layer.
“Baby it’s cold outside” and that can make you bundle up in heavy coats. It’s good if you’re going to the store or doing something less active, but not good for running a mile or two. You need to adjust your clothing based on the temperature, but always wear gloves and at least a lightweight baseball cap or headband. If the weather is 25 to 40 degrees, wear thermal/windproof pants, a long sleeve shirt and windbreaker and thermal vest. Thermal socks can keep your toes warmer. Start with extra layers you can remove and tie around your waist as you warm up.
Don’t fight the snow, make it your gym.
Most people find trudging in the snow a real chore. Not only are you dressed in more layers, but it’s also simply harder to walk in the snow. A study shows that you burn 34% more calories if you walk in the snow or walk into the wind. That extra effort can provide a benefit for weight loss and help you get fit faster. If you can’t tolerate the cold for very long, just walk for five to ten minutes at a time. Keep your mouth covered with a scarf or winter face mask if you have respiratory issues. It helps warm and humidify the air and makes breathing easier.
If you’re not a cold weather person, take your workout indoors.
You may already be exercising indoors, in which case, don’t forget to hydrate. In cold weather, it’s easy to skip sipping on water, but still quite necessary. If you’ve walked or done other exercise outside, join a gym, take up an indoor sport like racquetball or skip going anywhere and try a video or online workout program. You can have a less formal workout program by turning up the music and dancing for a half hour.
- Even if you aren’t an outdoors person, if the sun is shining and the wind isn’t blowing hard, walking on a crisp, cold day can be invigorating. You’ll burn more calories and feel better than when you started to walk.
- For those snowy evenings when the roads are closed, have fun with active games with the kids. You can even do exercises, like jumping jacks, together, dance or for the young, play active games.
- If you want an inexpensive way to set up an at home gym, get jump rope, resistance bands and a yoga mat. You can do bodyweight exercises or add dumbbells, kettlebells or use makeshift weights like cans.
- Learn to love the cold weather. While trudging through cold temperatures may not be ideal, it can improve circulation and help relieve aches and pains.
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