Winter comes as a challenge for people who work out. The cold requires special care to be taken while exercising. Here are some tips to be kept in mind while exercising in winter.
Wear Proper Clothing
Wearing proper clothing is one of the prerequisites of good winter exercise. Proper clothing protects you from the cold so that you can concentrate on your exercise. When you wear layers of clothing, the area between the clothes becomes insulation from cold, hence wear layers. The layer touching the body should allow wicking sweat away. Cover your ears, feet and hands properly – keep them warm. Because winter wear can be heavy, you may not be able to maintain proper pace while running. Do not let this bother you. Your aim should be to get some good exercise in the harsh winter conditions.
A warm up is essential in almost every form of exercise. It is essential to get a warm up during winter. Cold temperatures can render muscles prone to injuries. So before you go in for that intense workout, remember to warm up in winter. This is as important (if not more) as a warm up at any other time of the year.
It is very essential to keep hydrated once the exercise is done. So you should drink plenty of water after your exercise. Usually people sweat lesser in the cold than in the heat of summer. However the dry winter air requires that you drink enough water to replenish the lost fluids in your body. It is important that you not get dehydrated. Although you can drink Gatorade or other such liquids to re-hydrate, water is the best for hydration.
During winter exercises it is important to stretch frequently. This helps in preventing injuries. It is particularly important in winter to stretch frequently as compared to summer. The muscles to be stretched include the calves, hamstrings, hips, quads and lower back. Stretch those potential injuries away!
Use Correct Techniques for Exercise
Working out using correct technique is as important in the winter as in the summer. To exercise safely and effectively, your exercise must use proper form, tempo and stance. Feeling sore the day after a new exercise regimen is begun is normal. Don’t let it deter you. It is a sign of your progress. On the other hand not feeling sore after a new regimen is begun means you are under-exerting.
When exercising indoors, use compound exercises like squats to build muscle mass. The other compound exercises that can be done include pull-ups, dips, bench presses and dead lifts. Compound exercises are a great way to build muscle mass and can be safely practiced indoors.
Other Indoor Exercises
There are a whole range of indoor exercises that can be performed during the winter. These include Yoga, indoor swimming, and gymming, Qui Gong, Tai-Chi, Dancing, Water Aerobics, Pilates and Low Impact Aerobics. Each of these exercise types is unique with unique benefits and has a huge fan following. If exercising indoors is your thing then try these out.
Important Things to Keep In Mind
There are some important things to know when exercising in winter.
- Don’t remove your clothing as soon as you enter your house. Let the body adjust to the change in temperature before removing clothing. Do not let your body temperature change too suddenly.
- If exercising outdoors after the sun goes down wear bright reflective clothing so that you can be seen.
- Running up and down stairs is a great way to exercise
- A home gym can be as simple as skipping rope, dumbbells and an exercise ball.
- Try the Sun Salutation – a yoga technique that builds heat in the body
Exercising during the winter is essential. Do not lose touch with physical exercise in the winter. Perform you exercises regularly and with due care.