The last week has been filled with beautiful weather, but I’m going to say it anyways—these sunny days won’t last forever. There will be a time in the not-so-distant future that setting foot outdoors will be a daunting task, impossible without bundling up in winter gear. With the approaching drop in temperature, outdoor workouts may be a challenge, but I’ve come up with some tips on how to continue being active once there’s snow on the ground.
1. Dress Right
This one’s a non-negotiable…believe me, I’ve learned it the hard way. It’s easy to throw on too many layers on a cold day—and be drenched in sweat 10 minutes into your workout—or underestimate the winter and find yourself frozen. Thankfully, there are ways to attain a happy medium. One of the first things to know about dressing for winter exercising is that it’s okay to be cold when you first step outside. In fact, you should be chilly at first. Once your heart rate is elevated and you start to sweat, you’ll be glad you didn’t throw on that extra sweatshirt. Another thing to keep in mind is that your body will naturally prioritize keeping your core warm, meaning you should focus on bundling up your hands, feet, and head. When it comes to your core, try not to throw on too many thick layers. Instead, play around with layering breathable materials until you’ve figured out what works for you.
2. Adjust Your Workouts for the Weather
With chillier weather, it’s important to focus on exercise that will keep your heart rate up. That’s right, I’m talking about cardio. Cardio workouts may not be everyone’s favourite, but throwing in some jogging or interval training will keep you warm during outdoor workouts. If you’re feeling particularly hesitant about the chilly weather, put some extra effort into an indoor warmup before heading out. Give yourself a pat on the back just for getting outside and being active on a chilly day.
3. Get Creative
Being creative about ways to stay active is central to working out through the cold. Try something new! If you don’t know how to skate (or are feeling a little rusty), check out an outdoor skating rink. Go sledding with friends or have a snowball fight. If you’re able to get out of the city, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing are also good options. It doesn’t matter how you get moving, so long as you’re having fun and can feel that heartbeat pounding.
4. Don’t Get Discouraged
In terms of exercising, this winter will certainly be different than others. At times, it’s bound to feel like there are no options when it comes to staying active. In those moments, it’s important to focus not on the ways in which we are restricted, but on the pride of pushing through the winter months and continuing to challenge our minds and bodies…because that’s no easy feat!