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With the temperatures plummeting
this time of year, many of us tend to hibernate inside our homes. But,
hibernating is for bears. As humans itís important to stay active
through all four seasons. Yet, a poll of 5,000 people found that 30
percent get no exercise at all during the Winter months.
Just because it is cold outside
doesnít make it open season for an excuse not to exercise. There are
multiple exercise options one can choose to participate in regardless of
what the outdoor thermometer reads. Depending on your location and
likes, you can choose to workout inside or outside.
All that is required for Winter-time
workouts is some planning and employing all safety precautions. If you
prefer to workout outside, keep the following tips in mind.
- Get warm first. A
proper warm-up is critical. Cold temperatures can make your muscles
tight and therefore they are more prone to injuries. So, itís
important to get them warmed-up prior to engaging in intense physical
- Insulate your body.
The best approach to dressing for outdoor exercise is with layers.
Layering provides the most effective heating method, plus it allows
you to remove the top layer if you get too hot. The layer closest to
your skin should allow moisture to be wicked away. The top layer
should be both wind and water resistant.
- No sweat. Donít
assume that you have to sweat in order to get a good workout. You want
to avoid sweating that causes the clothing layer closest to your skin
to get wet and cause you to be chilled. Instead monitor your intensity
through a heart rate monitor or the Rating of Perceived Exertion.
- Donít strip when
you get inside. While you may be tempted to immediately remove your
layers when returning inside, give your body time to adjust. Post
exercise hypothermia is possible. This happens when your body rapidly
loses its heating stores.
- Drink up. Itís just
as important to stay hydrated when exercising in Winter as it is in
Summer, even though you might not feel as thirsty.
- Lighten up. If
possible, itís best to exercise outdoors during daylight areas. But,
with shorten days that can be difficult to do. If you exercise
outdoors when it is dark, wear reflective materials to ensure that you
can be seen.
If the thought of getting outside to
exercise makes you dive under the covers, instead choose one of the many
indoor workout options. Below are just a few of the many choices.
- Walk at an indoor
location, like a mall. If you need extra motivation to get yourself to
the mall, join a walking group. This will help you stay accountable to
someone other than yourself.
- Join a health club.
This will allow you a large variety of physical activities to choose
from every week.
- Create a home gym.
This doesnít have to be expensive. You can easily set-up a great
workout routine with just a set of dumbbells, an exercise ball and a
jump rope. Get all of this for around $50.
- If you have stairs
where you live or close by, spend as little as 20 minutes at a time
climbing up and down the stairs for a very intense and efficient
- Get wet. Find a
local indoor pool you can use. Try swimming, water aerobics, or even
just walking or running laps in the water.
- Visit a library.
Usually local libraries offer exercise videos you can check-out for
free. Pick-up a new one to try out every time you return the previous
By staying fit during Winter youíll
be able to avoid gaining weight, have a head start on swimsuit season,
and avoid losing strength and stamina caused from inactivity. Just as
tulips need Winter nourishment from the Earth to strongly bloom in
Spring, humans need to continue to nourish their bodies during Winter so
they too can bloom come Spring.
Lynn Bode, author
and certified personal trainer, offers her services online through
Workouts For You provides
affordable online exercise programs to help even
the busiest of
people lose weight, tone-up, build muscles, increase
stamina and more via the Internet. Let us
guide you one-on-one through your fitness journey. Visit: http://www.workoutsforyou.com for
a free sample workout.
If you would like to publish
this article in print or electronically, please contact Lynn at firstname.lastname@example.org