Exercising in cold weather
With the UK moving into a second spell of ultra cold weather this winter, it is easy to be tempted to ditch the training plans and snuggle up with a hot drink in front of the tv rather than head out to do some exercise.
We sympathise, we really do. We also know, from hard experience, an hour spent doing strenuous exercise on a cold winter’s evening not only serves you well when it comes to long-term fitness goals, but it also makes you feel pretty pleased with yourself instantly.
Recognising how difficult it may be to step out of the warm, woolly jumpers and throw on the gym kit, we have some tips to make it all a little more bearable.
Tips for defying the cold weather
Firstly, make sure you are dressed for the weather. If you are heading outside for an invigorating run or fitness class, then make sure you have plenty of lightweight but warm layers. You will soon start to warm up, so you should wear clothing that you can take off and either tie round your waist or pop into a rucksack.
if you are exercising in the gym make sure you have some warm layers to put on after your workout as you will quickly cool down after being hot and sweaty. It is important to not get a chill as that is the quick route to catching a cold.
Having a plan is a good idea. If you are just going for a run, then you are more likely to succumb to the temptation to miss it for an evening. If you have a plan, with a target at the end, then the motivation to get out and stick to the schedule is much stronger.
Call a friend
Along the same thought lines is the concept of an exercise buddy. If you make arrangements to exercise with a friend or a bunch of other people, then you are less likely to dip out. Likewise, if you book a session with a personal trainer. The idea of letting people down is more abhorrent than stepping out into the cold and dark.
Revel in the challenge. This is not the motivational tool that will suit everyone, but there is a certain breed of person who revels in difficult conditions. Whether it is cold or raining or windy, this exercise fanatic will don the layers and set out regardless of the conditions. They will also return with a glow that is the envy of us all. Even if this is not normally you, by setting yourself the challenge of exercising no matter what the condition, the sense accomplishment at the end of the session will make the discomfort seem just a distant memory.
Bearing all this in mind, do alway consider taking some practical safety measures. If you are planning on doing a run, jog or walk in the dark or very cold, then make sure you are dressed for the weather, including the most appropriate footwear. Take a torch to help you negotiate the dark roads and pathways, let someone know where you are going and ensure you have a fully charged mobile with you.
Exercising in extreme temperatures is invigorating and thrilling but should always be done with respect for your environment.