The winter months can be a challenge for those who like to exercise outdoors. Between the cold weather and slippery sidewalks, it’s easy to make mistakes that can ruin your workout.
While you can’t control the weather, you can take steps to make exercising in winter safer and more enjoyable. Here are four common mistakes people make when exercising in winter.
Wearing the Wrong Clothing
Layering more clothes can help keep you warm, but it can also make it harder to exercise comfortably. The key is to put on clothes that will help you stay cool while exercising and then layer more clothing as needed depending on the weather.
Adding too many layers can make you feel weighed down and constricted, making it hard to breathe and move around. This also causes overheating, which can make you feel sweaty and uncomfortable.
Skipping Warm-Ups and Cool-Downs in Winter
Just because the weather is colder doesn’t mean you should skip your warm-ups and cool-downs. In fact, it’s even more important to do these exercises in winter because they help your body adjust to the temperature change. Warm-ups help increase blood flow and prepare your muscles for exercise, while cool-downs help reduce muscle soreness and prevent injuries.
You can perform your warm-ups indoors, such as jogging in place, doing jumping jacks, or performing a few minutes of light aerobics. Indoor stationary bikes are also excellent for either warm-ups or full workouts, as long as you’re using the spin bike properly. Once you’re ready to head outside, make sure you dress warmly and do some additional stretching before starting your workout.
Not Drinking Enough Water
It’s easy to forget to drink water when it’s cold outside, but dehydration can be just as dangerous in winter as it is in summer. Make sure you drink plenty of fluids before, during, and after your workout. Water is the best fluid for your body, but sports drinks can help replenish electrolytes and prevent dehydration.
Not Wearing Reflective Gear at Night
Winter days are shorter than summer days, which means you may be exercising in the dark when you go for a walk or jog outside. To ensure that drivers and pedestrians can see you, dress in light-colored clothing with reflective gear.
You can also wear a headlamp to help illuminate your path while running, walking, or cycling at night. The bright light will help ensure you don’t trip over tree roots or uneven surfaces.
Exercising in winter can be a challenge, but it’s still possible to get fit and have fun even when the weather is cold. The next time you head out for an outdoor workout, make sure you avoid these common mistakes when exercising in winter.