Tips for Getting Exercise in Winter

blog-coldThe temperature has dipped down recently, hovering close to the freezing point. For many, fall and winter turn into a time of eating richer foods – and letting exercise routines slide.

Yet, going for a jog or doing some kind of physical activity in the cold has a few added benefits. One, your body has to work harder, which means you burn more calories in turn. Two, having to do more work stimulates your endorphins, which overall improves your mood.

The first step, however, involves getting motivated and figuring out what to do in the cold:

Exercises Outdoors

Even with snow, you can still walk or jog around; just realize, however, that you’re not going to go as far, and that you’ll have to take smaller strides.

The payoff ends up greater: For a 140-pound woman, you may burn about 106 calories in a half hour.

Want something that breaks away from your routine? Try a winter sport, such as skiing, snow-shoeing, or running with grips.

In all, make sure to dress so that you’re protected against the cold but won’t sweat too much, as moisture evaporates and takes your body’s heat with it. As a suggestion, wear a breathable shirt, fleece or wool on top, and a wind-resistant but breathable jacket, all of which you should be able to easily remove.

Before you go out, though, warm up with an aerobic exercise, such as jumping jacks or running in place. This way, your muscles will be more limber, rather than stiff, when facing the conditions ahead.

Take It Indoors

You don’t have to just go outdoors – the gym and even your living room are perfect locations for staying with your fitness regimen.

At home, schedule some time for circuits – a combination of squats, pushups, and lunges.

Or, now could be the time to start a gym membership. Doing so provides you access to a temperature-controlled facility with equipment, courts, and classes.

To find a gym as winter hits, try out the facilities at North Haven Health & Racquet, or come by to take a class.