Top 10 Tips for Working Out During the Winter Months
Winter in Indiana. It can mean anything. We’ve had years when we’ve had snow on Halloween, and years when it’s been warm enough to ride my bike on January 1. You just never know what the weather will bring, especially in January and February!
I always hold out hope that winter will skip us, but it never does. It’s the beauty of our four seasons! And that’s okay. Snow, ice, and cold may cancel school sometimes, but it doesn’t have to cancel our plans for living an active lifestyle.
I have some tips to keep you safe and warm and full of a sunny spirit.
- Attitude – In all things, be grateful. The beauty of the snow. Spending an unexpected day home with the kiddos. Simply watching the white stuff fall to the ground.
- The right gear – Layers! Yes, there are definitely fabrics that are windproof, waterproof, etc. And some of those come in very handy and can be necessary on extremely cold days. The bottom line is to layer up. Wear a base layer that will wick away the sweat and then layer over with something that is preferably wind and waterproof.
- Cover all the extremities – Hands, feet, ears, head. You may need 2 pair of gloves and socks if you don’t have any heavy duty wool. You may need a face mask. There are some special ones that will cover your mouth and nose but have tiny holes in that area so you can still breathe! (That’s pretty important!)
- Drink hot stuff! – I love my coffee every morning, but on cold wintry days it becomes even more of an essential. And what about an evening cup of hot tea? Before you go out, warm up with something hot and have something hot when you come in. This will get right to your core and get you warming up quickly.
- Enjoy a hot shower or bath – This may warm your body, but the it can also be relaxing and put your mind at ease if you’ve been tensed up driving on icy roads.
- Moisturize – I don’t know about yours, but my skin gets so dry in the winter. My hands are cracking. My skin is itchy. I love Bass Farms lotions and especially their Triple B moisturizing cream for extremely dry skin.
- Be flexible with your exercise plan – There’s a reason the racing season doesn’t ramp up until April or May. January and February can be hard to get in those long runs. There will be time to up your mileage.
- Split your workouts – If 6 miles was on your schedule, but it’s just way too cold, or the snow and ice are making it difficult, maybe do 3 miles inside and 3 outside.
- Work out inside – Hit the weights. Ride your trainer. Surely you can survive a couple miles on the treadmill??? When I’m inside on a bike or treadmill, I use that time to do intervals. It keeps me focused and gives me some variety and makes the time go faster.
- Play – For Heaven’s sake, if you have snow, go play in it!!! Be a kid! I see snow in the forecast, and my reaction is “ugh.” My son sees snow in the forecast, and he’s whooping and hollering! It brings us back to the first tip…..our attitude!
Winter can be a time when we need extra support to keep moving and stick to a healthy living plan. And as a counselor, I know it can be a time when people experience some depression due to the lack of sunshine and time outside. I’m here to help! You can get weekly encouragement straight to your inbox when you sign up for my free email.
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