#FitnessFriday: How to Work Out In Cold Weather

Life & Love | Gerren Keith Gaynor | 12/13/2013 | 11:45 AM EST

Don’t let the winter be an excuse for not sticking to your workout regimen

Sticking to your fitness regimen can be difficult, specifically during the winter, where we often use the cold weather as an excuse not to get up and workout. But there’s no excuse, especially when you can not only weather the cold, but workout in it. Working out in the cold isn’t for everyone, though. However, if you do decide to take that brave trip outdoors, you need to be prepared. Here are some tips on how to thrive with your workout in the cold. If you’re going to be brave enough to enter the blistery weather, you need to play smart.

Bundle Up

This is probably the most important and obvious rule to working out in the cold. It’s suggested that you layer up for a combination of cold air, body heat and sweat, and remove a layer when you start to perspire - don’t just start running with a pair of shorts and t-shirt. It’s important that you also cover your hands, head and feet, as they are very vulnerable areas of the body.

Change After Your Workout

Many people assume that because you’re drenched in sweat after working out in the cold that you don’t need to immediately change your clothes. However, you can easily get sick by doing so. Change clothing immediately after your workout to avoid getting the sniffles. Even you don’t take a shower, changing into dry clothes is helpful.

Acclimate

Running in cold temperatures isn’t a walk in the park. It can take your body a little adjustment, as it can be quite brutal at first. But eventually your body will get there. However, it’s important to keep in mind that you probably won’t be able to match your same results from the summer. Remember: effort is more important than actual pace. Try having a lighter workout when running in the cold.

Hydrate

It’s easy to think that you don’t need to hydrate as much in the winter as you would in warmer temperatures, however, you’re still sweating and pushing yourself to great limits in the cold. Therefore, be sure to drink as much water as possible.

Know Your Limit

When it comes to working out in the cold, you don’t want to overdo it. Know when to pump the breaks. Weather that is too cold can be unsafe, so pay attention to the temperature and wind chill. If it’s too cold you may want to just stay indoors. When all else fails, there’s always the gym!

This has been brought to you by Strive To Thrive.

(Photo: Oli Scarff/Getty Images)

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