Staying active during cold winter days can be really challenging. However, there are many alternative ways you can keep up with your workout routines even when it’s cold outside. These twelve tips will inspire and motivate you to exercise despite the bad weather.
Set a Challenge
Setting a workout challenge during cold winter days can be a great motivation for staying active when it’s cold outside. For instance, there are many creative 30 day challenges that push you to reach a certain number of planks or squats over a specific period. They will keep you in good shape and help you stay active. And since it only requires you to do only one exercise, there are no excuses for skipping your workout. You can always try upping your exercise time and making your workout routines more complex each day. This will also help you gradually build your muscle strength over time. For instance, start by doing 20-seconds planks and then add 10 more seconds to it every day until you reach the desired amount.
It is generally recommended to be prepared for the challenges of working out in winter before the temperatures drastically drop below 0°C. Once you start adjusting to the weather changes in the time it will not come as a big shock when the true cold hits. If you like to go for light jogging in the morning, check the weather nightly and layout workout clothes appropriate for the weather that awaits you the next morning. This way you will be able to get out of bed in a matter of seconds knowing that your clothes are prepared and ready for your jogging. It is important to always be prepared and have backup plans in case you can’t go outside for a daily dose of jogging. Find appropriate indoor workout routines that you can do on those days when you can’t go outside.
Another great way of making sure you stay on track with your workouts is to find a workout buddy. You can schedule regular workout dates in your calendar for yoga classes or jog. This way you’ll have no excuses not to go, even when it’s cold outside. When you have someone to do the regular workouts with you have them to be accountable to. So if you don’t show up you’ll be bailing on them. And for those who prefer to work out solo, fitness apps and activity trackers are great options. They will help you set specific training goals while reminding you of your activity levels. Technology here really steps in and has an amazing impact because it gives people a purpose and self-accountability when working out solo. It can be quite motivating.
People tend to forget to drink water during winter because they don’t feel thirsty when they are cold. However, it is important to stay hydrated while being active in winter as much as it is in summer. Keep in mind that your body is still expending energy and sweating, so it’s important to drink your daily dose of water. Keep a water bottle wherever you go, especially if you work out daily. It’s important to drink water before, during and after an outdoor exercise.
Insulate Your Body
One of the most important things to keep in mind if you want to stay active during cold winter days is that you absolutely have to dress appropriately for the cold weather. The best way to insulate your body for outdoor activities in these weather conditions is to dress in multiple layers. Layering will help you stay warm and dry. And if you happen to be warming up too quickly, you can always remove the top layer. The layer that is the closest to your body will allow moisture to wick away. Try avoiding cotton because when this material gets wet it takes longer to dry out. Also, make sure that the top layer is both wind and water-resistant.
Keep Your Clothes On
It is a common misconception that you should change your clothes as soon as you get back from jogging or working out at the gym. However, this might not be the best option. Your body needs time to adjust to room temperature. In case your body isn’t too wet from the workout, wait for at least 10 to 15 minutes before taking your workout clothes off. Losing the heat from your body too quickly can have some pretty negative effects on your health. You may even experience post-exercise hypothermia. It comes as a result of the body reducing its production of heat while at the same time losing its existing heat rapidly.
Create a Home Gym
If you still want to stay active during cold winter days but don’t want to go outside to get to your favorite gym, there are ways you can get the same experience at home. By setting up some of the basic and inexpensive workout equipment in your basement you can create your own small workout area in the comfort of your home. For example, you can buy a mat that will allow you to do exercises such as crunches. Or you could buy a set of dumbbells in different weight categories to keep up with your weighting workouts. Other great equipment for the home gym is stretch bands and a stability ball. You can use them for a wide range of different exercises.
Stay active during daylight hours
On the other hand, if you still want to spend some time outside and get some fresh air while you’re working out the best way to do it is to use the daylight hours. The sun will keep you as warm as possible and you will feel much better after you’ve spent some time outside on a sunny day. Shorter days might make it difficult to catch some time to be active outdoors while there’s still light outside. If you choose to work out when it’s dark too, don’t forget to wear reflective materials on your workout clothes. Staying safe should be your number one priority.
Another healthy outdoor activity that could help you stay active when it’s cold outside is biking. You can choose one day of the week to go biking with your friends or you could simply start going to work on your bicycle. This way it won’t even feel like you’re doing any exercise. It is one of the easiest ways to stay in shape while sending quality time outside. Also, consider investing in high-quality electric bikes if you plan on biking every day. They come with many great options and will even allow you to rest your legs a bit if you get tired of pedalling since they can run on batteries.
Take the Stairs
If you have an opportunity to avoid using the stairs, you’re probably going to do it. Instead, you can opt for a healthier way to go upstairs or downstairs. If you already use the stairs regularly, you won’t find it hard to work out on them. You can work out without leaving your home if you just start running or waking up and down the stairs. This way you’ll be doing a great cardio and leg workout.
Swim at Your Local Recreation Centre
Staying active can be easily managed in swimming pools. The cold weather outside won’t stop you from exercising in a local recreation center. Whether you opt for recreational swims or water aerobics doesn’t matter. What matters is that you stay active. You can lap swim too. The best thing about this is that you don’t have to be a professional swimmer to spend your time in the pool working on your health. Being comfortable in the water and working on your skills are your number one priorities. There’s nothing better than swimming in a warm space while it’s freezing outside. Besides your muscles being developed, your mental health will benefit too. Swimming is great for relaxation.
Go Ice Skating
Ice skating is a great way to work out when the temperature outside isn’t favorable. It’s even budget-friendly since you can do it for free in some areas. You don’t have to be a professional ice skater to have fun and be productive in an arena. Triple axels aren’t necessary for you to have a good time while ice skating. But if you are a bit advanced, and you still haven’t managed to do some triple axels, why not try it? You can also skate backward to work your muscles. You can make rules for yourself and making the whole experience more fun and challenging. For instance, try to skate for 10 meters as fast as you can. Then, when you get to the complete stop, touch the ice. After this, sprint back and touch the ice for the second time.
In conclusion, even though it might be a bit difficult and challenging, you can still find creative ways to stay in shape and be active when it’s cold outside.