Last updated on August 5th, 2014 at 07:53 am
Your dream to get fit does not take a break for less-than-warm weather. At least it shouldn’t! As your fitness dreamer and expert on being cold, no matter what the temperature outside, I can tell you this will be a challenge for those looking to keep their fitness routines outside.
For all of my dreamers who are currently looking out their windows at a snowy landscape, you have my permission to laugh at my complete wimp status in getting cold. My version of cold may not be anywhere close to what your version is, but I do have a to share how I learned a few painful lessons.
My own direct experience with being cold came on the morning of my first triathlon. The spring time temperature in lovely wine country Napa is chilly and in the 40’s. I knew that the swim would suck the heat out of me, and the rest of the race would be spent getting back to a normal body temperature.
I spent the next few hours wondering if I would ever regain feeling in my fingers and feet.
The race taught me a lot about the right degree of body heat I needed to keep going without being distracted. I did finally regain the feeling in my fingers after the bike ride, and my feet about the time I was crossing the finish line.
I am a little challenged in the staying warm department. Reynauds Disease has an impact on being able to feel your extremities in cold weather, and I learned the hard way how best to manage keeping the feeling in my hands and feet when out in the cold.
The benefit you are getting from keeping your outdoor fitness plan on track will out weigh any impact your have for being cold. I promise.
Top 8 tips for exercise in cold weather
1. Cold weather can make you run faster
It’s not only because you may want to make your workout fast so you can get back into the warmth. It’s actually easier on our bodies to run in the chilly fall and winter months than to regulate our temperature while exercising in the heat of summer.
2. Pick the right workout wear
This may sound like a no-brainer, but simply adding layers may not help you get through your outdoor workout. Choosing the right fabrics are a must. Clothing that wick away moisture have an advantage over cotton once you start to sweat. Wearing wet cotton on a cold day will only make your workout uncomfortable.
3. Cover up
Keeping all exposed skin covered will go a long way in keeping your body heat where you need it. In areas where the temperature dips below freezing, a hat and gloves are a must. The more skin you expose, the faster your body will lose heat.
4. Layer it on
Your choice of another thein layer will be much easier to manage than oen thick layer once you are out there. It’s easy to slowly strip off thin layers once you start to warm up, than lug around that thick sweatshirt for the rest of your workout.
5. Make in shorter
I don’t mean your workout of course! Instead of taking that long run that takes you miles away from home, try a shorter route that you can loop. This keeps you close to home in an emergency, and you will be able to react faster if the weather turns worse.
6. Watch those corners
The beautiful reason for outdoor fitness is the change in scenery which can mean those shaded areas are hiding black ice. Take your time in super cold and wet weather, especially when you change directions or take corners.
7. Make sure someone knows where you are going
Let someone know your planned route and when they can expect you back. Safety in any weather is vital to outdoor fitness, but winter weather can be dangerous and change quick depending on your locale.
8. Stay hydrated
You may not remember to keep hydrated if you don’t feel hot and sweaty. Trust me, taking in the same amount of liquid is important regardless of the outside temperature. You are still making your body work, so be sure to give it back what it needs during your workout.
Getting out and plan your exercise in cold weather to get fit.
Want some more tips on staying warm while you get fit in the winter months? This article from the Mayo Clinic offers advice on keeping safe for cold weather exercise.
If you run or walk long distances in the cold, you most likely have water or snacks to fuel you along the way. This article has some great tips on keeping your fuel from freezing, even though you may feel like you are.
Will you be attempting to get out and exercise in cold weather for your fitness dream this week? Share in the comments!
Go get your fit on – Heather
Heather Montgomery is a fitness writer, triathlete, and serial entrepreneur who is devoted to sharing what she has learned about becoming a triathlete after age 40. She uses her Metabolic Training Certification to help other women struggling to get fit in mid-life. She lives and trains in Santa Rosa, California, the new home of the Ironman triathlon. You can find her biking the Sonoma County wine trails.
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