Posts Tagged ‘winter’

It is that time of year again. We can say goodbye to the sun and warm weather and hello to the cold breeze of winter. This downright chilly season can have a lot of us wondering what we can do about our outdoor fitness routine. Many of us long for that nice long morning run, but we seem to scamper away from the outside as if it is poison once the temperatures start to dip. However, there is no reason why you have to take your workout indoors. You can actually benefit from exercising in cooler weather. It helps you become more energized, burn more calories and can improve your mood, so instead of hiding from the cold, you should embrace it.

Increased energy

Fresh air can do a lot of good for your body. It can empower you and give you that little boost you may be needing to get over certain hurdles in your fitness routine. Most of us do not know that the summer heat and humidity can seem to drag our bodies down. You may notice that during your summer runs, you seem to tire out quickly, but those winter runs have a totally different effect. The cold air most likely will have an invigorating effect on you and stimulate you to work harder. You feel as if you could run longer than before. That is right; nothing can stand in your way, especially not the cold.

Burn more calories

Did you know that researchers have discovered that race times are actually faster in cooler weather than in warmer weather? These quicker run times add up to more calories burnt for you. Your body is actually making itself work harder in the colder temperatures, so you can reap the maximum benefits from your everyday fitness routine. This means you will achieve the results that you have been craving in a shorter amount of time. These winter workouts can do wonders when it comes to shaping your body and achieving your fitness goals, which can be a real deciding factor when you are trying to pull yourself out of bed at five in the morning.

Improve your mood

We all know that our bodies release endorphins as we workout. However, the harder your body works out, the more endorphins are released. And, as we stated before, your body tends to work harder in cooler temperatures. This means more feel good hormones are released, and you benefit by an even bigger boost to your mood. Winter is the time that many of us will need this mood boost. Many people become depressed or sad because of the shorter days and longer nights. It has been proven that people need to have some exposure to sunlight to feel happier, and winter may make it difficult for us to get the recommended amount of sunlight. So, why not go for a run or take a walk in the park on those days that you feel kind of down? It just might help you achieve a better state of mind.

You do not have to allow the cold weather trap you inside. You can still go out and enjoy the outdoors. However, you need to be prepared for the chill in the air. Try to take the necessary precautions in order to stay safe. If it is too dark, raining heavily or snowing, you may want to stay inside, but if it is a pretty day, then take advantage of it. You can go a little stir crazy or become depressed if you try to lock yourself in all winter, so get out there and have some fun.

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You may have noticed that the temperatures have already started dropping. Winter is on its way, and this means you have to rethink your workout plans. There are many new obstacles you may face with your outdoor workout routine that you did not have to worry about in the summer. Many of us may want to hide inside for the rest of the season, but there are still a lot of us who long for the great outdoors and like to take advantage of the cooler temperatures. We need to remember that it can be fun to venture outdoors, but we need to play it safe and be prepared for these extreme temperatures. There are a few things that you can do to make your outdoor workout a little more enjoyable and easier on your body.

Know your route

You should always plan your route ahead of time, but in the winter, it can be a necessity. You want to be aware of your surroundings and know where every hole or patch of ice may be. Of course you should always opt for paths that are well lit and regularly traveled, and if you live where it snows a lot, you will want to seek out pathways that are plowed and kept up regularly. Black ice is also a hazard for those who enjoy outdoor winter workouts. It can be hard to see black ice, but if you are familiar with the area, you may be more aware of where it could be or tends to be, which can help you avoid a nasty fall.

Don’t forget the warm up

The warm up is the perfect time in any workout to help prepare your body for the workout ahead. It can also help our bodies prepare for the harsh cold that awaits us. Before you rush out that door for your afternoon jog, remember to prepare yourself. You need to get your body warm prior to exposing it to outside elements. You should walk or jog indoors for at least five minutes to help get your core temperature up and get your body ready for the workout ahead.

Take little steps

When you begin your winter workout, try not to overestimate your abilities. Just because you were running five miles in the summer, does not mean you should expect the same results in the winter. Your body reacts differently to the cold and has to work harder. This means you may not be able to achieve the same results, so you should try to do about half as much as before. You do not want to overdo it and end up stopping to catch your breath. Once you stop, you will notice your body temperature dropping, and you do not want to get hypothermia. It would be even far worse if you were miles from home and out of breath in the cold. So, play it safe and take small steps in the beginning to give yourself the chance to learn your limits.

Stay hydrated

It is easy to notice how much we are sweating in the summer, but in the winter, it can be a little trickier. Your may not notice how much you are sweating under all those layers, but you can rest assured that even in the winter you are sweating. So, you need to pay more attention to hydrating yourself because it would feel horrible becoming weak and dehydrated in the cold. You may need to keep your water bottle under your clothes or close to your skin to keep it from freezing, but you definitely need to take some water with you during your winter workouts.

Switch up your schedule

You may love starting your day off with a morning run or ending your day with an evening, but during winter, these are some of the coldest times. It may be frustrating having to change up your workout schedule, but it could help you stay a little safer and warmer during those cold runs. If you can hold off until the mid-afternoon, the temperatures will have warmed up and the pathways are more likely to be plowed. This means the best time to enjoy your run may be a little later or earlier than you are used to, but it can help you be safer and more comfortable in the long run.

It can be difficult trying to maintain your fitness routine in the winter. The cold can make us want to stay under our blankets a little longer and safely hide in our nicely heated homes. However, if you can find the willpower to venture outside, you just might discover that the weather is not as bad as you once thought it was.

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