Winter is one of the most difficult times of year for most people because of how ferociously cold it can be outside. A lot of people prefer to stay inside of their houses, where they can control the temperature that surrounds them. But, summer bodies are carved during the colder months of the year so here are our top 5 outdoor exercises for when it gets cold.
Exercising in Winter
Before we delve into our outdoor exercises, you need to be aware of all of the risks that can be associated with exercising outside during the winter and the ways in which you can avoid them. While exercising when it is cold is generally considered to be safe, you do need to make sure that you take a few precautions.
Some of the possible complications that can arise if you do not take precautions include health hazards like frostbite, hypothermia and a risk that your airways will become restricted. The latter would make it quite difficult to breathe. If you have a pre-existing condition, then you should talk to your doctor beforehand to make sure that you are not in a high-risk category.
In order to stay perfectly safe, you should make sure that you are wearing three or more layers that are made out of a material that will be able to wick any moisture away from your skin. This means that you should avoid materials like cotton because they will simply trap the wetness against your body, increasing your risk of complications that are associated with the temperature.
To further protect yourself from the cold, you should try to always wear a hat, gloves and a scarf. The hat is necessary because as humans, we lose a lot of heat through our heads. The gloves will protect your hands and the scarf can be worn in a way that covers your face if the temperature drops below freezing. This will further protect your airways.
Given that the winter often comes with flurries of snow and ice, you should also make sure that you wear sturdy footwear that is capable of gripping the ground because of how slippery it will be. Don’t think that dehydration will not be an issue either; staying hydrated is just as important when it is cold. In fact, dehydration is actually more difficult to manage in the winter because it is harder to spot during cold weather exertion.
Essentially, you will be perfectly safe exercising in the winter as long as you take all of the necessary precautions. Drink plenty of water, dress for the weather, wear appropriate footwear and err on the side of caution when it comes to your winter activities.
Our Five Winter Exercises
When it comes to outdoor exercises, running is the perfect option regardless of what time of year it is. You can even get your hands on the best ABC watch for outdoor adventures to track the route that you cover in the winter, comparing it to how you completed the route in the summer based on your statistics. These watches use GPS technology so the statistics that they can give you are incredibly thorough.
Running is a perfect exercise in that it can be used to improve your cardiovascular health, gain endurance, and lose weight, among other things. If you are new to running, then there will be fewer people around during the colder months of the year. So you might feel a little bit less nervous about going out and trying it.
It is worth noting that the presence of snow can add an extra layer of difficulty to your run, one that even experienced runners might find challenging. There is no real risk of overheating when you run in the winter, but you do need to make sure that you consume enough water to avoid dehydration. The snow also makes everything look beautiful.
Ice skating is the perfect sport to be participating in around the Christmas period when ice rinks seem to pop up all over the place. It is a low-impact exercise that is quite literally suitable for all of the family. Most people go ice skating in order to strengthen their legs, using muscles in their inner thighs that they usually would not use at all. It is worth noting that ice skating will not put a lot of stress on your joints unless you fall.
Other benefits that come hand in hand with ice skating include the fact that it can be used to improve your overall balance and coordination. It also improves your performance in other areas because it makes you use a lot of muscles that are rarely ever used in normal situations.
If going ice skating would bore you senseless, then ice hockey could be a better option for you. All you need is a few pieces of equipment, a patch of ice and a group of people that you think would enjoy it. It is fast paced, conditioning and it enables you to burn calories while having some competitive fun. After all of that hard work, you will definitely deserve that winter hot chocolate.
Hiking is quite literally a sport that goes all the way back to our roots. It is a key survival tool that we could all benefit from using. The key to hiking in the winter is to dress in a number of warm layers, get yourself a really good pair of hiking boots and spend a little bit of time making sure that you have everything that you could possibly need.
Following a trail in the cold weather can be notoriously challenging and tiring. You have to make sure that you have enough snacks with you to keep your energy level steady. We would recommend that you take a homemade trail mix with you.
The concept of snowshoeing has been around for centuries. If you are not aware of it, it involves wearing a pair of large, flat shoes that make it seem as though you can ‘float’ on top of the snow. It expands a lot more energy than walking on dry land does and it allows you to hike with ease in the winter. If you are looking for a low-impact, aerobic exercise that does not take your breath away, then snowshoeing is probably the best option for you.
What are you waiting for?
Exercising in the winter is difficult and cold, but it is worth it. You can look back at your hard work in the summer by looking in the mirror and really appreciating the effort that you put in. You should go through this list and give everything a try until you find the right option for you.