Love exercising outdoors, but worried about keeping it up during the winter? Don’t be. Exercising outdoors in the winter can be done and even help you burn extra calories.
Due to the change in weather, winter exercising calls for extra attention to safety. As winter is known for the unexpected, you’ll need to be prepared for the weather to change rapidly while you’re out. Check the weather before leaving home and ensure you always wear appropriate footwear to avoid slips and falls. Even through winter, it’s important to protect your skin and eyes against the sun. Wear sunscreen on any exposed skin and lip balm to protect your lips from the cold.
Warm up exercises are essential during the winter as the risk of sprains, strains, and fatigue are increased. While exercising outdoors you’ll need to perform your warm-up exercises longer than you would during the warmer months to give your body time to adjust to the temperatures. Drink plenty of water before and after a workout, to avoid dehydration.
The days are getting dark earlier than any other time of the year. Dressing properly for winter exercise includes wearing reflective clothing and ensuring your bike has head and tail lamps to keep you visible. You’ll also need to keep your body warm and dry during your workout. Layer clothing from a synthetic close-fitting garment to loose-weave wool or polar fleece. Your outerwear should be waterproof and protect against wet weather and harsh winds. Don’t forget about your extremities. Wear a hat and scarf, waterproof gloves, and thick thermal socks will keep you warm and dry.
No matter how ambitious you are, always head back home when the weather conditions worsen. Sticking it out during poor weather conditions will put you at risk for weather related health issues and accidents. Winter exercise should be invigorating, not risky.