Baby, it’s cold outside…but that doesn’t mean you should freeze your exercise routine! Check out these tips for staying active during those chilly winter months.
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I know how tempting it is to stay in bed, wrapped in your nice, warm comforter on those cold winter mornings. It’s dark, it’s cold, and it’s easier to grab another cookie and cuddle up on the couch than it is to get up and get active!
It doesn’t have to be that way.
When you have a plan to fight back against your excuses, you can avoid those extra holiday pounds and bring on a rush of endorphins for a happier and healthier holiday!
Turn on the Light
It’s dark in the mornings these days, which can make your bed and your snooze button all that much more enticing. Instead of hitting snooze (again), turn on a light! It’ll help to shake you out of your evening slumber and get you out of bed and moving.
The alarm clocks that light up like the sun rising are also great to use on dark mornings (this Philips Wake-Up Light is the one I use)!
When you are dressed appropriately for the weather, it’s so much easier to convince yourself to go outside!
For those really cold days, think about three different layers.
- First, put on a synthetic material that will wick that moisture away from your body (I usually use my Fabletics tops for this layer).
- Next, add a fleece layer that will keep you warm.
- Finally, add a waterproof windbreaker to keep you dry.
Don’t forget an ear warmer or hat, gloves, and moisture-wicking socks (my Balega hidden comfort socks are my favorite)!
If you get too warm as you go, you can take off a layer and tie it around your waist. I’ve also found that just unzipping a layer a little bit can cool you down just enough.
Sometimes you don’t feel like you are sweating as much in the winter time, especially if you don’t feel hot. It’s still just as important to stay hydrated, though, so make sure you are drinking water regularly.
That goes for when you aren’t working out, too! Keep a water bottle with you so that you can sip on it throughout the day.
Change Your Exercise Schedule
I prefer exercising first thing in the morning. I like exercising on an empty stomach, it helps wake me up (believe me, I need the extra help!), and it gives me a good excuse to shower and get ready for the rest of my day. But when morning temperatures are less than 10 degrees and the afternoon is up in the 30s, that’s all the motivation I need to change up my schedule!
Don’t just throw in the towel if something isn’t working for you. Find a time to get outside and moving. If that’s the afternoon sunshine, awesome! If that’s the still quiet of the morning, go for it! Just be flexible in finding a time that works.
And don’t forget that snowball fights and sledding can count as cardio, too!
Shower Quickly Afterward
Your body heats up from exercising, but when you stop and it’s cold outside, your body temperature is going to plummet, even if you are back indoors. After you do a few minutes of cool down or stretching, get out of your sweaty clothes and jump in a hot shower as soon as possible!
I’m telling you from experience, that cold-to-the-bone feeling is less than pleasant, so head it off before it hits! And if you really want to make winter showering more pleasant, use a heater in the bathroom (this Lasko one is the one I use). I hate feeling cold, so making the bathroom all warm and toasty makes me so happy!
Find An Indoor Alternative
The high here in Colorado the other day was 3 degrees. As much as I love exercising outside, if it’s -11 degrees, it’s not going to happen. Just like when you were a kid and they switched you to indoor recess at school, I always have indoor workout options.
I have a treadmill and my sister has an elliptical, but you don’t need any fancy machines to make it happen. I love pulling up a SparkPeople workout video or my 30-Day Shred DVD. You can walk or jog in place, do a stairs workout, go through some body weight or hand weight exercises, and you can always head to the gym or rec center!
Do you have any other tips for exercising in the cold weather? Leave me a comment and let me know!