1. Dress Properly. The first thing to remember when exercising in the winter is to dress properly, especially if you’ll be doing activity outdoors. Your extremities (hands, feet, nose, ears) can get cold quickly and in extreme cases even cause frostbite. Make sure to wear a hat (ski mask for the nose), gloves and thick socks.

2. Warm Up Inside. To make the cold temperature less of a shock, warm up inside before going outdoors. You can do some pushups, sit ups, pull ups and use a jump rope for 10 minutes. Once you start to get hot you’ll want to go outside to cool down a bit. Warming up before exercising is also a good way to reduce the risk of injury and improve your performance.

3. Stretch Your Muscles. Stretching is important all year round but in the winter, your muscles are extra stiff because of the cold temperatures. After you lightly warm up indoors, take a few minutes to stretch your muscles. This will greatly reduce your risk of injury. Pick one stretch for every muscle group and hold it for 20-30 seconds.

4. Safety First. While in the summer you can get away with exercising in the early morning or late afternoon hours, in the winter, make sure you exercise when the sun is still out. Not only will it be warmer by a few degrees, the places that have cold temperatures are the same places that have shorter days, icy roads and hazardous pedestrian conditions. Exercising when the sun isn’t out can be a safety issue when snow and ice are involved. Don’t forget to also wear light and reflective clothing so drivers will be able to see you.

5. Winter Fun. Don’t forget about winter activities. Snowboarding, skiing and skating are good workouts that will burn calories and help you have a good time. Leave the running for the summer months.

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