Cold Weather Exercise

One of the biggest reasons for winter weight gain is that we tend to exercise less when it’s cold outside. But you don’t need to let winter weather keep you from reaching your weight loss and fitness goals. In fact, exercising during the winter months doesn’t only work for weight loss, it can help you boost your immune system and fight the winter blues.

Here are a few tips to keep you moving during the winter:

  • Talk to your doctor. Chances are, it’s perfectly safe for you to work out in the cold. If you have any concerns about potential health risks, always talk to your physician.
  • Dress in layers. One of the most common mistakes people make during the winter is dressing too warmly for outdoor exercise. Working out can make you feel as if it’s 30 degrees warmer than the actual temperature outside. But once you start to get tired and your sweat begins to try, you can become chilled. The best solution is to dress in layers that you can easily take on and off as needed.
  • Protect your extremities. Your hands and feet are especially vulnerable to cold and frostbite when your body is working to keep your core warm. Layer a thin pair of gloves under a heavier pair of gloves or wool-lined mittens. Invest in a pair of shoes a half-size larger than normal so that you can wear an extra pair of socks. And of course, always wear a hat or headband to protect your head from heat loss.
  • Start by running into the wind. You’re most likely to get chilled at the end of your workout when you’re tired and sweaty. Start off running into the wind so that you’ll have the wind at your back for the trip home.

Of course, if the windchill or temperature makes it dangerous to be outside, you can always keep up with your fitness routine by finding indoor activities to do at home or a local gym. The most important thing is to keep moving, whether that means breaking out a workout video or throwing on a few extra layers of clothing.