How to Winter-Proof Your Workout
by Peter Bua on January 22, 2018
Having trouble getting in regular workouts this winter? I get it. It’s hard to gather the motivation to get out of bed or off the couch and get active when it’s so cold outside! But it’s still possible if you really want to see results. So if you’re up for figuring out how to get started on a winter-proof workout, check out some tips on exercising in cold weather.
Embrace the Cold
The best way to ensure you get in a winter-proof workout during winter is to go with the flow. That means you should stop fighting the fact that it’s winter and start using the weather to your advantage with workouts that are perfect for this season. Maybe you used to walk or run and find that the paths near your house are too icy to do this safely anymore. Instead of resolving to wait until spring to work out again, find an exercise that requires ice or snow. Ice skating, skiing, snowboarding, sledding, and snowshoeing are all great winter exercising options. Even shoveling snow or having a snowball fight can burn about 100 to 200 calories every half hour!
Don’t Tempt Yourself to Get Cozy on the Couch
Maybe you think you’re going to get in a winter-proof workout today, just after you get in your comfy clothes and watch your favorite show. But let’s face it. If you’re like most people, the odds of you getting off the couch so you can go work out in the cold are pretty low. It’s much easier to stay inside under that cozy blanket. That’s why you should avoid getting comfortable on the couch until you’re done with your winter workout. You’re more likely to get some exercise in if you change into workout clothes the minute you get home from work so you can exercise then. At that point, you can reward yourself with some TV and a cozy couch!
Make Sure You Get Enough Sleep
One factor that makes it tough to fit in a winter-proof workout in winter is that it’s hard to get out of bed early in the morning to go work out. After all, it’s still dark outside, and so cold! That’s why you might consider moving your workout to the afternoon or evening instead. If the morning is the only time you can fit in a workout, try going to sleep a little earlier during the winter months. You can start by getting in bed 15 minutes earlier than usual, and then try for 15 minutes earlier than that the next night. Sleep disorders are far too common, so try and avoid things that are too stimulating in the hour or two before bedtime, turn off the computer and put your phone down, and focus on relaxing and sliding into sleepiness.
Resist Winter Sweets
If you’re really into comfort foods in the winter, there’s a reason behind it. With winter comes less sunlight, which means less serotonin for your body—and you’ll try to make up for that by satisfying your food cravings. While most comfort foods are sweet and loaded with carbs, they don’t all have to be. You can safely satisfy your comfort food cravings with healthy treats like cinnamon toast on wholegrain bread, oatmeal with a side of fresh berries, or a sweet potato (which can also boost your calcium levels!)
Winter-Proof Workout Gear
Exercising during winter is much easier when you have the right workout clothing and accessories to keep you warm. So give your cotton t-shirts and shorts a break this season and grab some warm workout pants, a fleece pullover, a polyester jacket, a wool hat, and some knit gloves for your next winter workout. And don’t forget to put on footwear that can handle the elements, such as trail-running shoes with deeper treads so you’re less likely to slip during your jog.
Now you know how to exercise in winter, so pick an activity and get out there if you want to stay fit this season! Just remember to listen to your body and dress warmly to make sure you’re safe in the cold. And check out our tips on Staying Fit and Safe When It’s Cold Out for more guidance on winter fitness.
8 Ways to Avoid a Winter Workout Rut
How to Stay Active in Cold Weather
3 Clean Soup Recipes for a Cold Day