Exercise in the Cold: 6 Tips for Winter Fitness
5 min read
Searching for motivation to exercise in the cold weather? Despite the frosty temperatures, it’s just as important to maintain your fitness routine in the winter months.
When it comes to health and fitness, the cooler months are often considered the enemy of a solid workout routine. After all, frosty mornings and reduced daylight hours can make swapping those precious extra minutes in your warm bed for a sweat session all the more challenging.
But, resisting the urge to hit the snooze button has its benefits. Exercise is an important part of maintaining a healthy lifestyle all year round, not just in the warmer months.
If you’re looking for some extra motivation to get moving this chilly season, discover our five tips to exercise in the cold.
Before a workout, it’s always important to take the time to warm up. During winter it can be tempting to launch straight into your fitness regime in an effort to shake the cold, this may lead to mild aches, strains and sprains.
Instead, a short series of low-impact exercises may help get your body ready to take on the rest of your cardio or strength training session.
Take 5-10 minutes at the beginning of your workout for a brisk walk or slow jog as well as a series of stretches to help reduce the likelihood of injury.
During the cooler months, it’s easy to retreat from the great outdoors in favour of the warmth of our homes and offices. But, there’s truly nothing like a morning run to invigorate you for the day ahead.
If you can muster the courage to face the initial brunt of frosty winter air, hitting the parks and trails is a great way to start the day.
Plus, an outdoor workout can help to support your vitamin D intake. Our bodies produce vitamin D after sun exposure, so it’s important to spend adequate time in nature. What better way to do it than while squeezing in some physical activity.
Although the benefits of an outdoor workout are plentiful, for some people the idea of taking on the wintry weather may dissuade them from exercising at all.
Luckily, there is a range of fitness routines you can undertake from the comfort of your living room.
In particular, pilates, yoga and other resistance workouts can be tailored to different fitness levels and performed with minimal equipment.
If the idea of a solo run or hitting the gym alone doesn’t motivate you to exercise in the cold, team sports are a great way to combine socialising with physical activity.
In the cooler months, some of us may hibernate from the wind and rain outside leaving much to be desired in the way of social interaction.
Combining friendship and fitness, team sports truly are the best of both worlds.
Traditional winter sports include hockey, football and netball but there are plenty of different social and competitive leagues to choose from. Once you assemble a group of friends, you’ll be surprised how much more enticing your winter workout may be.
Just as it’s important to prepare your body for exercise, it’s also important to adequately cool down. Taking the time to stretch at the tail end of your workout is another way to help prevent the mild aches and pains associated with physical activity.
Try thinking of your warm up and cool down as the support mechanisms for your fitness routine, allowing your body to reap the full rewards of your hard work.
And, always remember to give yourself adequate recovery time between training sessions. If you’re feeling particularly sore, don’t try to grit your teeth and muscle through it.
If you have any concerns about your fitness level or sport-related injury, it’s important to talk to your health professional. They will be able to talk to you about your individual needs and provide tailored advice accordingly.
If you found this information useful, you may also enjoy the following:
If you found this article useful, why not share it with a friend who may find it helpful too?