How to Tweak Your Workout for Cooler Temperatures

Proper clothing is key for an effective winter workout. (Dreamstime/TNS)
By Brooke Ely Danielson, Tribune News Service

Whether you watch Game of Thrones or not, you know winter is coming, and the willpower to do anything but snuggle up on the couch with Netflix and a warm beverage can wane. Your inclination may be to stay immobile as much as possible, but we also know taking a three-month hiatus from your workout routine isn’t necessarily the way to go.

Plus, there is something to be said for the direct correlation between fresh air raising serotonin levels in your brain, which in turn boosts your mood. To assist you, we put together a few tips on how to get yourself out of bed to embrace the cold properly. Ready?

CREATE A WORKOUT COMMUNITY

Motivation, one of our favorite words. Rosalia Chann, celebrity trainer and fitness coach, suggests you “find a workout you love and a community that inspires you. It may feel challenging at times to get there, but you will be less likely to skip knowing your fitfam is waiting for you.” In other words, you’re more likely to stick to a routine if someone else is relying on you for support.

GET YOUR OUTFIT TOGETHER

Prep your gym clothes at night. You will be less likely to scramble and forget things, especially if you have an a.m. workout or class booked. Plus, if you wake up a few minutes late, you know you can just grab your gym bag and go without making an excuse that you need to skip the workout.

WARM UP YOUR MUSCLES

When you’re active in colder weather, it’s key to warm up the muscles before you really start going at it. Do a light workout indoors to warm them up so when you step out into the single-digit temperatures, your muscles are protected from strain. Start out by doing a set of jumping jacks, lunges and some light stretching. Take no less than five minutes to warm up. A few yoga poses such as downward-facing dog, child’s pose and warrior two can help lightly stretch the body out as you get the muscles going.

DRESS FOR THE OCCASION

When choosing activewear, go for materials that will keep you warm. From fleece-lined tights to thermal layers, we suggest chic layering pieces from JoyLab.

Layer a loose-fitting turtleneck on top of your base wear. Don’t love turtlenecks? Opt for this long-sleeve sweatshirt with dual-hem lengths instead.

OPT FOR A POST-WORKOUT SOAK

Recovery is crucial after a cold-weather workout. Chann recommends a 15-minute hot Epsom salt bath or foot soak (if you don’t have access to a tub) to help reduce stiffness, soreness in joints and comfort your muscle aches. Bonus points: “It also serves to relax and aid with stress relief.”

DON’T FORGET TO HYDRATE

Finally, make sure to hydrate. You may not feel or see as much sweat as you normally do in the summer, but this doesn’t mean you aren’t losing as many fluids. Make sure to take little sips of water throughout your workout, and if you’re doing long jogs, make sure to take a swig of water after every mile.

Now there’s really no excuse to not work out this winter.

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