If you’ve been working out religiously for years, then you know how winter can dampen your efforts. It’s not only the seasonal blues that can impact your motivation. There’s just something so challenging and uncomfortable with the idea of going outdoors to work out when it’s chilly, and the rain or snow can pour any time. There’s no shame in switching up your workout regimen and staying indoors in the meantime. You may even take a break if you think it will help you avoid overuse injury.
In case you’re determined to face the winter cold this year, however, know that there are tried-and-tested ways to do so safely and efficiently. You can set off on a good start by prioritizing these five tips.
Plenty of people focus too much on staying warm outdoors that they forget the importance of staying dry, too. When the gear you wear does a poor job at wicking moisture from your body, the heat moves away from your body and leaves you feeling chilled. The discomfort and health hazards this brings will force you to stop whatever workout you’re doing to head indoors. Worse, you may suffer from frostbite or hypothermia even before you manage to get home.
This is why it’s important to invest in quality outdoor wear like a Descente storm jacket. Jackets of the highest quality are multi-functional and are designed to keep you warm and dry for long periods. If you think the current winter workout wardrobe you have doesn’t suffice, don’t take a risk. Search for new ones that meet the functionality your workout or sports require.
Go for Bold Colors
Black and white workout clothes are timeless, and they even spare you from decision fatigue because you don’t have to wonder if one color goes well with the other. While it’s okay to dress in dark and neutral colors any other time of the year, winter warrants the use of brighter and bolder options. This is as much for your safety as it is for the people around you.
Winter lowers visibility, rendering it a challenge for you to see others in your path and vice versa. Dressing in bright colors can significantly improve your chances of avoiding accidents, especially if you opt for reflective materials. If you’re a cyclist, adding blinking lights that provide enough visibility during winter is a great way to promote road safety. You can return to your blacks, whites, and browns once the snow has melted and the sky has cleared.
Keep A Moisturizer Nearby
Moisturizers never go out of season, even in a literal sense. It’s easy to forget how dry the winter air is, and just a quick trip outdoors can do extensive damage to your skin. It’s helpful to add moisturizer to the tip of your nose and ears, as these are sensitive areas that dry easily and might suffer from cracking.
It’s a good thing that plain moisturizers are all you need, and you don’t have to worry about sunburn then, right? Unfortunately, even wintertime can give you a bad case of sunburn if you’re not careful. UV rays can impact your skin no matter how cloudy it gets. Worse still, snow actually reflects UV rays, exposing you to nearly twice as much rays than usual.
Keep your moisturizer within reach, and never forget to rub on sunscreen. Your skin is your largest organ, and you don’t want to cause permanent damage just because of neglect.
Mind Your Breathing
Have you tried running in the cold weather? If you have, then you’re familiar with how painful breathing can get. This is because your airway narrows in colder weather, therefore making each breath more laborious. You can avoid the pain by breathing through your nose if you’re performing mild exercises, as the nose can warm the air as it enters your body.
Anytime you exert more effort, that requires breathing through your mouth. However, you’ll find relief in using a scarf. Scarves can prevent water vapor from leaving when you exhale against the fabric. By maintaining the moisture in the air, your breathing will start to feel normal again.
Peel Off Layers
Cold weather doesn’t prevent your body from warming up when you exercise. The longer you exercise and exert more effort, the warmer you’ll feel and the harder you’ll sweat. This makes it necessary for you to peel off layers of clothing once your body is producing enough heat to ward off the chill.
You can tie your jacket around your waist or ball it up in your hand while you run or cycle. Neglecting to do so can trap moisture that leads to frostbite or hypothermia. Once you’ve slowed down, you can start putting pieces back on to feel warmer on your way home.
Exercising outdoors in winter can be a life-changing experience. You’ll cope better with the winter blues while enjoying a refreshing change in scenery. Just make sure to follow these five tips and practice caution at all times because more than getting a good workout, it’s your safety that’s most important.