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.