If you live in the north during winter, you know how cold it can get in the winter time. Being outside for any amount of time can be hazardous, or even downright dangerous when the proper precautions aren’t taken. Preserving body heat is a very important skill for people who work out during winter. Hypothermia, pneumonia, frostbite, and other cold weather health conditions can be avoided by staying warm.
Here are our top five tips that’ll help you stay warm when working out during the winter, even in the freezing cold.
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Start with an Indoor Warm Up
Before you start your outdoor workout, start with a few good warm-up exercises indoors first. Get your heart pumping and boost your body heat. Do this in your outdoor clothing. It will create heat that stays with you. The key here is be sure not to start sweating, as this will create dangerous conditions when you sweat starts to freeze when you head outdoors.
Try doing some jumping jacks, run in place, push-ups, knee-highs, and other such exercises. By the time you step out into the cold, you already be feeling the heat, and ready for a cool relief.
Layering your clothes with several layers is infinitely better than wearing one thick jacket. The reason being is that the layers trap heat better and prevent moisture inside as well. Plus as you workout, you may find that you get way too hot in that jacket, and need to remove a layer to prevent sweating.
When layering try a good set of flannel underneath your workout clothes. This flannel set is perfect for a base layer to keep you warm without adding bulkiness to your clothing.
That said, you should still wear a jacket on top of all your layers. The jacket you wear should be water resistant, so snow can’t melt and get in.
Use a Heart Rate Monitor
Many people gauge how hard they’re working out by how much they’ve sweat. Most of the time, this can be a decent gauge. In winter however, it’s completely inaccurate.
Sweat is designed to help cool your body heat. In spring, fall and summer, that’s exactly what sweat does. But in winter, sweating actually conducts coldness and causes you to lose more body heat.
Your body wisely sweats less when you work out in winter. Instead of using sweat to gauge your workout intensity, buy a heart rate monitor. Calculate your maximum heart rate and try to stay at about 80% intensity.
Stick to Daytime Workouts
Don’t underestimate the amount of heat sunlight on your skin can generate. When night falls temperatures can drop drastically, very quickly. You certainly don’t want to be stuck out when it’s too cold.
Even if the temperature outside is the same day and night, you’ll feel a lot warmer when you have the sun on your skin.
Wait before Taking Clothes Off
Don’t take all your exercise clothes off the moment you get indoors. You might feel like the room is a lot warmer, but your body still hasn’t adjusted yet. Give your body 5 to 10 more minutes in your workout clothes to build up heat and take off your layers slowly.
If you take all your clothes off right away, you can lose a lot of heat, almost like a vacuum sucking the heat out of your body. It can cause a shock to the system.
Follow these five tips and you’ll be able to use your own body heat to stay warm, even when you’re working out in freezing cold weather.