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Six Ways To Workout During Winter

Dec 19th, 2012

Workout During WinterWinter is here but don’t let the cold weather stop you, workout during winter. Here are some ways to burn more calories outside while staying safe and warm:

1. Wear the right clothes. Wearing too many clothes is one of the most common mistakes people make when working out during winter. You should dress to stay just warm enough but not so much that you end up sweating more than you have to. You will get warm enough once you start with your exercise, so the extra clothing will only give you the chills once your sweat starts to dry. Wear light layers you can easily remove once you start to sweat and just put them back on if you need them.

The first layer should be made of lightweight synthetic or polyester material to keep moisture away from the body. Add another layer made of wool or polyester fleece to insulate your body against the cold air. If it’s raining or windy, you can wear a third layer made of light water-repelling material.

2. Protect your hands and feet. When it’s cold, your body conserves heat by concentrating blood flow to your core, making your hands and feet vulnerable to frostbite. Follow the same layering guidelines for your extremities. Wear gloves and socks designed for cold weather exercise. Cotton or wool gets soaked with sweat which can leave you cold and uncomfortable.

Shake your hands and move your arms every few minutes especially if you’re running. This promotes blood flow to help keep them warm. Avoid extreme windy conditions by exercising in a sheltered area.

3. Start warming up indoors. Warming up your muscles before a workout can be difficult once it gets really cold outside. The best solution is to warm up indoors instead. Use a treadmill, elliptical machine, or other exercise machines for about ten minutes before going outside. You can also do some running in place, jumping jacks, or jump ropes for about ten minutes.

4. Skip the stretch. Stretching before your workout is a bad idea, and the cold weather will make things much worse. Cold muscles are prone to injury when pulled and stretched; opt for loosening exercises instead. Start by moving your head in big circles for 5 to 10 rotations going clockwise and counter-clockwise. Then move on down to your shoulders, back, hips, knees, and ankles. This will help loosen your joints before exercising while avoiding cold muscle stretches.

5. Beware of hypothermia. Hypothermia is having less than 95 degrees core body temperature. This happens when your body loses heat faster than it is producing it. Hypothermia can be very dangerous. You need to be aware of its signs in order to guard yourself such as shivering, low energy, lack of coordination, slurred speech, and confusion. Go indoors once this happens. Remove wet clothes, drink a warm beverage, and gradually warm up. Do not apply direct heat to avoid skin damage.

6. Know when to workout indoors. There are days when you have to stay indoors because of extreme cold, but this doesn’t mean you can’t exercise during these times. You can visit a gym, try yoga classes, and pop in an exercise DVD. Temperatures below 0°F can make outdoor activities dangerous even if you take safety precautions.

Source: VISTA Health Solutions

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