We’ve all experienced our enthusiasm and motivation to workout start to dwindle as the cold sets in. Staying in your warm bed for those extra 20 minutes becomes more and more tempting and before you know it a whole week has passed without getting your workouts in. You’ve worked hard to build a routine so why let a little bit of frost keep you from sticking to it? Instead use this time to get a competitive edge on your competition or simply get one step closer to your personal fitness goals. Here is some motivation and tips for training in winter.
1. Keep warm
Layer up, make sure that you are warm before even starting your workout. Finding the perfect layered level can be tricky because you don’t want to have to peel layers off five minutes into your workout. We suggest a weatherproof top that will protect you from the icy wind chill and keep you warm but not stuffy during your workout. Another great option is to get yourself some icy grip gloves with built-in silicon beads that will improve your grip while keeping those extremities nice and warm.
2. Warm up and cold-proof your muscles
We all know that your warm up is important and during the cold winter months this becomes increasingly important, not only to prevent injury but also to get into your workout mindset. We suggest starting with some mobility movements to get the blood flowing and get movements into your joints. Then slowly progressing to those dynamic movements to get your heart rate up and muscles primed for your workout.
3. Drink room temperature water
Staying hydrated is just as important during the cold. Those layers do add up and you could be losing up to 8% of your body mass via sweating and insufficient water intake. Additionally, the cold induces diuresis (more frequent urination) resulting in even more water loss. So, don’t forget to fill your water bottle before training. This should be room temperature water to keep your core body temperature from dropping and avoid any cold induced shock to the system.
Now that we’ve got some of the motivation and tips to keep training during the cold let’s talk about some of the benefits of winter training and when we should stop due to sickness.
1. Bigger increase in fitness
When your body is exposed to the cold your blood vessels begin to constrict to conserve heat but this results in your heart working harder to pump blood through your body. This means your VO2 max increases and ultimately increases your fitness level faster.
2. Burn more calories
Yes, you read that correctly! During cold weather you begin to shiver which increases your metabolic rate before you’ve even started training, resulting in more calories being burnt.
3. Don’t stop training because of a ‘sniffle’
We are well aware of the dangers of training when sick and if you feel very unwell please get rest and recover before training again. However, a slight sniffle or cold should not stop you from training. Ensure that you warm up sufficiently and stay warm throughout your workout. What should prevent you from training is a chest infection or chest tightness. To test this, take a deep breath in and if you feel short of breath or you have a chest rattle rather skip the workout, rest and recover. Additionally, if you have a body temperature above 38 °C or body aches please consult a doctor and take a rest day.
To end off we would like to encourage you to keep your training up and even head outdoors for a good run or workout. Getting outdoors will keep your mindset positive provide you with plenty of health and body goal benefits.
Your in fitness,