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Working out in the Winter 

Working out in the Winter 

When it’s dark, gray and chilly outside, it’s still important to stay active. A winter workout does pose some challenges — but with the right strategy, you can safely and comfortably maintain your health and wellness while exercising outdoors.

Bundle Up

Whether you plan on running in your neighborhood, hitting some mountain biking trails or taking a few spins around an ice rink, it’s important to wear the right clothing and gear for cold-weather exercise. Intense physical activity can make you warm up quickly. Dress in layers so you can take clothing on and off as needed.

Here’s how you’d want to layer your outfit:

  • First layer: Choose a moisture-wicking material like polypropylene or polyester so your sweat can easily evaporate.
  • Second layer: Next, add a layer of insulation. This can be a material like polyester fleece or wool to help trap the heat.
  • Third layer: Your last layer should be rain- and wind-repellant to keep you dry in unfavorable wintry conditions.

Don’t forget to wear gloves and a hat to protect your extremities!

Check the Weather

If you plan on working out in the cold, you need to check the weather before heading outdoors. It’s not just the temperature that you should pay attention to — factors like moisture and the wind can play a big part in how cold you’ll feel.

It can be dangerous to exercise outside even if you’re layered up, especially when the wind chill is low. You could be at risk for frostbite and hypothermia. To stay safe, be sure you can recognize the signs of both these conditions.

Warning signs of frostbite include:

  • Cold skin
  • Dark or discolored skin
  • Numbness
  • Stinging sensation
  • Loss of feeling

Possible symptoms of hypothermia include:

  • Shivering
  • Slurred speech
  • Confusion
  • Drowsiness or fatigue
  • Loss of coordination

Fuel Up

When exercising in cold weather, your body will start to break down glycogen, which is a type of carbohydrate, in your muscles. Be sure to fuel up before, during and after your workout.

After you’ve exercised, try to eat a carbohydrate- and protein-rich snack or meal within 30 to 60 minutes. You need something that will help your muscles repair and replenish glycogen stores, especially if you’ll be working out again the following day.

Even if you don’t feel thirsty, it’s important to stay hydrated. You can still become dehydrated in the winter even if you aren’t excessively sweating. Drink plenty of water before, during and after your workout.

Bring Your Workout Inside

Bring Your Workout Inside

If it’s not safe enough for cold-weather exercise, you can always bring your workout inside during the holiday season. At 5 Bridges Health & Fitness, you’ll find a team of certified trainers ready to help you reach your fitness goals. We have several plans available depending on what you’re looking for.

Ready to launch your health and fitness transformation? Join today!