How To Prepare For A Chilly Outdoor Exercise Session
If you’re planning to head out for a workout outdoors despite the chilly temperatures, there’s some important facts that you need to know before you begin.
Exercising outdoors is a great way to get some fresh air, get a change of scenery, and bring some variety to your fitness program.
That said, if you aren’t careful, cold weather can put you at additional risks that warmer weather simply doesn’t bring.
Let’s go over a few of the main cold-weather exercise do’s to stay safe and get the most out of your session.
First things first, be sure to dress in plenty of layers. Remember that you can always take clothes off, but you can’t put more on once you’re out there.
You’ll start off cold as you begin exercising and as your body heats up, you’ll need to remove some layers.
If you don’t dress accordingly, you’ll either be too cold at the start or too warm halfway through.
Layers makes it possible to adjust your clothing based on your core body temperature.
This can help you avoid overheating as well as help you avoid feeling uncomfortable due to being cold.
You’ll also be at risk for dehydration if you aren’t careful in colder weather.
You’ll likely find that you don’t get as thirsty in cold weather like you do when exercising in the heat but you are still losing water due to perspiration.
Staying hydrated is a must. Fill up a water bottle before you go out and then make sure that its empty by the time you finish the session.
You may have to consciously remind yourself to keep drinking water if your thirst simply doesn’t prompt you to.
And remember, just because sweat isn’t dripping down your face or back does not mean you don’t need fluid. If you are exercising, you need water.
Another smart move when exercising out doors is to consider doing a brief warm-up indoors first.
Do some light cardio and then move into some range-of-motion stretches.
Then once you are feeling warmed up and ready to begin, head outside and you’ll find the transition to the cold isn’t nearly as bad.
By doing this, you’ll also be less likely to pull a muscle. When your body is still cold and you start out into your intense exercise, you could increase your risk of injury.
And for those who try to warm-up or stretch outdoors, remember that the point of this is to warm up the body, so if you are trying to do this when it’s already cold in your surroundings, it’s going to take twice as long.
Finally, be sure that you stay seen. Keep in mind that often during the cooler months, you won’t get as much bright daylight hours, so if you are exercising in the early morning or later at night, be sure to wear reflective clothing or purchase a head light or other device that will let others know you are there.
If you are exercising in a large park this may not be as necessary, however if you are running on the side of the road for instance, it’s a must.
These are just a few of the main cold weather exercising tips that you need to remember as you head out.
It’s great to take your workout outdoors when you feel like it, but remember to look after your body with the right preparation.