It’s cold outside and your daily or weekly run is probably becoming much less appealing. Or even if it’s just a matter of travelling to your gym where you can exercise indoors, we understand that finding the motivation gets harder as chillier days arrive and days get darker.
Nevertheless, maintaining some kind of an exercise regime in winter is crucial for fighting off colds and viruses, staying fit, and, importantly, keeping your stress levels low.
As such, (and to support International Stress Awareness Week) here are some tips for keeping up with your fitness goals this winter so that stress doesn’t need to enter back into your life.
Stay Dry and Warm
Moisture from sweating or rainfall combined with lower temperature is dangerous. And if you’re cold and wet you may be more likely to do less exercise as well as potentially catch a cold.
Wet fabric next to your skin will allow your body heat to dissipate much faster so make sure you bring a suitable waterproof jacket with you, or activewear that doesn’t just soak up sweat and rain but instead dries much faster.
There are also many natural materials available today, such as bamboo-based fabrics, that are just as great for keeping you both dry and warm when exercising.
We know it’s not fun to carry around additional items of clothing in your hands when you’re jogging, but it’s also not great being weighed down by a large cotton hoodie that doesn’t allow you to regulate heat efficiently. Rather than something that might be big and cozy, consider instead using multiple layers made for sports.
A thin base layer is good to start with, and a thin outer shell that is water and windproof is a good place to finish. In between, a warm but breathable middle layer is advised that will help to trap warm air in but can be removed if you get too hot.
You may have to adjust this combination depending on the weather, but it’s always better to go out with some options rather than just one big jacket that might be good for starting off, but won’t offer you much flexibility after you’ve worked up a proper sweat.
Cover Your Hands and Head
It’s so easy to forget about our extremities but try your best not to. Fingers, ears, nose, and toes are all affected by chilly temperatures more than central areas of your body. Consider adding a hat (or headband) and gloves to your wardrobe.
Staying hydrated in winter is just as important. This will keep your skin from drying out from indoor radiators as well as keep you energised when you’re exercising outdoors. It might seem less appealing to drink freezing cold water from your bottle when you’re already chilly but not doing so will leave you more vulnerable to fatigue and decreased performance.
The need to stay limber and stretch properly before you exercise is even more important in winter. It’s incredibly easy for back pains and old injuries to flare up if you don’t.
If you’re worried about this, consider seeing us for acupuncture for back pain in London. Before things get worse, it’s important to build a sustainable and healthy exercise program that builds resilience and strength rather than puts your body at more risk of injuries returning.