After a very mild autumn, winter belatedly set in and is making up for its late coming! In the colder temperatures it is easy to lose focus and feel demotivated when it comes to exercising. Training isn’t always easy during the winter, but it is important not to slack and lose all you may have gained.
Here are some top tips from Garry Kerr, Head of Operations and Training at British Military Fitness, to help keep you active and outdoors throughout the winter months:
Warming up inside will mean you’ll be more relaxed and more likely to perform a thorough warm up; your body will in turn be better prepared for the workout. The cold can be a real shock to our muscles so it’s important to get them revved up before you expose yourself to the elements.
Wear tight fitting thermal clothing underneath your usual training gear; this will allow for better heat retention. If you wear baggy clothing, your movements will replace the heat your body produces with the cold outside air, so strap on the long johns and keep warm this winter.
Your body has a narrow range for optimum temperature and will work harder to maintain this range in the colder months; runners are advised to reduce the length of their sessions to compensate for the strenuous task of keeping warm.
With light hours drastically reduced during the winter months it’s crucially important that outdoor exercise enthusiasts stay visible to motorists and pedestrians. Donning hi-visibility clothing or flashing bike lights can help you to stay safe on the streets.
The cool down period is crucial in the winter months; your muscles naturally tense up more in the cold weather and you’ve just exposed your body to some seriously harsh conditions so take a few minutes to get some air before you head inside and start relaxing.
Sweat is intended to cool our bodies down as we exercise but as the weather gets colder we could really do without this usually beneficial effect. It’s important to wash as soon as possible after a winter work out to avoid sweat drying and cooling on your skin.
After your session you need to give your body every advantage in getting back up to temperature, so once you’ve washed and dried, put some layers on to aid the recovery.
It’s important to keep hydrated throughout the whole workout but ice-cold water can shock the internal organs after a session; no matter how thirst-quenching it might be, a warm drink will be more beneficial. Try green tea as it also speeds up your metabolism!
Nothing is more rewarding or as effective as exercising outdoors, especially in the cold. Don’t let the lower temperatures or lack of light put you off, as the benefits of outdoor exercise are second to none. As outdoor fitness specialists, BMF ensures that come rain, snow or shine, participants of all abilities are challenged, motivated, and above all, have serious fun. So what are you waiting for?
Find your nearest outdoor fitness and bootcamp location today.
quite right about straight in the shower afterwards - otherwise it is easy to end up really cold and risk muscle strain.
Some very good, and new tips here, thanks. I have never thought of lowering intensity in cold weather but will bear it in mind now.