Workouts don’t have to stop when the temperatures take a dip. Outdoor sports are able to continue as usual with a few extra steps to winterize your outdoor workouts so that you can help stay protected from the colder and less desirable elements. Frigid temperatures typically discourage even the most
motivated exercisers. Personal training and Fitness programs must be modified to address colder climate workouts and extreme conditions. Working with a personal training Professional can help take a lot of the guess work out of how to train or what to wear in the cold for outdoor exercise. Here are a few tips from NPTI Florida to help you transition your outdoor workouts to survive the winter weather. First step is to check the forecast before heading outside.
Temperature, wind and moisture, along with the length of time that you’ll be outside, are key factors in planning a safe cold-weather fitness routine.
- Wear appropriate base layers. Layers are very important with outdoor sports in the winter. They can help you regulate body temperature and keep you dry. Wool or wool blended materials should be used as your first base layer. Wool and wool blended materials regulate body temperature even when they are wet or sweaty and pull moisture away from your skin. This can help protect you from hypothermia. Many distance runners and other endurance athletes suffer from hypothermia when their clothing becomes wet or sweaty and they slow down their pace or stop. Being outside on a cold day in wet clothing can make you succumb to the elements much faster, preventing you from finishing your workout or competition early and jeopardizing your personal health. This also includes not overdressing. Bulky coats will make you sweat faster and soak through your base layers. Opt for a lightweight insulated vest that breathes better than a heavy coat.
- Don’t forget your hats and gloves. Personal training secrets for winter workouts include remembering to cover your head and hands. Most of our body heat is lost through the head so wearing a hat can help you retain your body heat longer allowing you to stay outdoors in the cooler temps longer without endangering yourself. If you are not a fan of hats, a large wide headband that covers the top of your forehead and your ears can also help you retain body heat and be less restrictive than a hat. Gloves should be windproof and lined. Some individuals like wearing wool blended glove liners under a lightweight glove for extra warmth and less bulk.
- Remember hydration. Many individuals forget to stay hydrated and will not drink because they are cold and don’t feel thirsty. Dehydration can happen even when it’s cold outside. Dehydration can affect performance, stamina, and efforts in addition to causing cramping and GI distress. If you will be outside when temperatures are below freezing, remember to put your hydration bottle or flask in an insulated encasement so that your water doesn’t freeze. Remembering to take a sip every few minutes or blowing into the mouthpiece can help prevent ice crystals from forming so the liquids can flow without obstruction.
- You must know the signs of frostbite and hypothermia. Frostbite is most common on exposed skin, such as your cheeks, nose and ears. It can also occur on hands and feet. Early warning signs include numbness, loss of feeling or a stinging sensation. Hypothermia is abnormally low body temperature. When working outside in the cold, your body begins to lose heat faster than it can be produced. Signs of hypothermia are intense shivering, slurred speech and fatigue.
These are just a few ideas to help winterize your outdoor workouts so that you can enjoy a run through a winter wonderland workout.