Tips for Exercising in Cold Weather
Just because the temperature dips doesn’t mean your exercise routine needs to take a dive. Keep these four rules in mind to exercise safely all winter long.
Pun intended! Get blood flowing to muscles, and increase your heart rate before heading out into the cold. The increased circulation will help prime muscles for activity and may help reduce the risk of injury.
This may be more obvious during warmer months, but you still need to drink plenty of fluids when exercising in the cold; you’re still sweating, and you need to replenish fluids lost. Both warm and cold fluids will help contribute to hydration, so reach for whichever you prefer. A little caffeine will help boost performance, but too much can have a negative effect on digestion, so keep your intake conservative.
Even die-hard outdoor enthusiasts need to know when to take the workout indoors. Bitter-cold and icy conditions can lead to treacherous surfaces, injuries and even frostbite. It’s also beneficial for everyone to cross-train, so hit up a yoga class or take a swim in the local indoor pool a couple of days a week when outdoor conditions become an issue.
Dana Angelo White, MS, RD, ATC, is a registered dietitian, certified athletic trainer and owner of Dana White Nutrition, Inc. , which specializes in culinary and sports nutrition.