Remember when you were young and loved playing outdoors in the wintertime? Not so much anymore, right? But if you loved it once, you could love it again!
One thing to love about outdoor fitness is the fact that cold weather workouts deliver optimal benefits when it comes to caloric expenditure and weight loss, as well as boosting your immune system. With so many sunny days, here in Colorado, exercising outdoors is a sure fire way to chase away the winter blues and boost your production of those good-feeling adrenaline dumps.
“Accept challenges, so that you feel the exhilaration of victory.”
The following are 3 tips for making your outdoor fitness safe & kick butt:
- Layer, Layer, Layer! – Remember, when you first begin your outdoor activity, you will probably feel chilly. But, after just a few minutes, your core temperature will rise and you’ll begin to feel warmer. Dressing in layers helps you regulate your temperature. Your base layer, which is closest to your skin, helps wick moisture and perspiration away from your skin to keep you warm. Look for garments made from polypropylene or silk. The mid layer is for insulation and warmth. Fleece or wool are excellent choices. Finally, the outer layer is to help repel water and protect against the wind. How many layers you need, will depend on the activity you’re participating in and how long you’ll be outdoors. What’s great about layering is you can shed garments as needed. Don’t forget your HAT & GLOVES! Nearly 50% of your body’s heat can escape through your head. Gloves or mittens are a must as fingers are easily susceptible to frostbite. Pick athletic shoes or boots that are waterproof and which have a heavy tread to allow safe maneuvering on icy spots.
2. Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate! – Exercising in the cold can weaken your body’s thirst mechanism, making it easy to become dehydrated. Take precautions by drinking at least 16 ounces of water before you start your activity. If you’re planning on being outside longer than an hour, bring a water bottle and remember, drink early and often.
3. Wear your Sunscreen & Shades! – Regardless of the time of year, your skin and eyes need UV protection, when outdoors. With the higher elevations here in Colorado, plus rays reflecting off the snow and ice, UV protection is a must! Even on a cloudy day, the sun’s UV rays can penetrate the clouds and cause harm to your skin and eyes. Wearing a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 as well as wearing sunglasses with UV protection or polarization for extra protection will ensure your epidermis and your eyeballs will be safe guarded.
There is no need to decrease your fitness activities simply due to the winter season; in fact it is a great time to increase your outdoor fitness involvement. By following these 3 simple tips you can get your “Fit” on and be safe and have a killer workout!