Unlike bears, bats, and bees, human beings don’t need to hibernate during the winter, so you have absolutely no excuse not to keep in shape, especially when you know how much food you’re going to be eating on Christmas day. However, compared to summer, exercising during the winter comes with a lot of risks, so it’s important to be prepared and stay safe. If exercising is on your agenda this winter, follow these tips to stay safe.
It’s obviously going to be pretty cold when exercising during winter, especially if you exercise in the morning or evening, so make sure you layer up to keep warm. Start with a moisture wicking material, so that sweat doesn’t cool down your body. Then wear a thicker layer or two, to keep you insulated, and top it off with a waterproof layer. You should also make sure that you keep your head and hands covered, such as with a hat and gloves, as you lose a lot of heat from these areas.
Wear Reflective Clothing
It’s no secret that it gets light a lot later and dark a lot sooner during the winter, so if you’re used to exercising in the morning or evening, then light or reflective clothing is an absolute must. It’s even more important if you like to run or cycle near roads, as slippery pavements and potholes in roads can cause you to fall into the road, which could lead to severe injury or even worse.
Let Someone Know
It’s never a sensible idea to go out exercising and not let anybody know. On an icy morning you could easily slip over and fall into a hypothermic state, and during the evening you could come across a mugger. You should always let someone know the route that you’re going to take and roughly when you’re going to be home, so that they know when and where to start looking for you, just in case.
Take Your Phone
Some people choose to leave their phone at home when they go out for a run, to avoid distraction, but this isn’t sensible, especially during winter. You should always take your phone with you so that you have a way of contacting someone if anything bad happens.
Wear Sturdy Shoes
You might love wearing your canvas shoes to go jogging during the summer, but this isn’t a very smart idea during the winter. With winter comes rain, snow, winter, and ice, so you need shoes that will protect you; They should have a deep tread, so you don’t slip on ice, and also be waterproof. You also might want to get them in half a size too big, so that you can wear thicker socks, to keep your feet warm.
Beware Of Wind
You should always check the weather before you decide to go out to exercise during the winter so that you know what you’re getting yourself into. If you see that it’s going to be particularly cold and windy, then it’s probably a good idea to put off your workout or skip it for the day. Wind and cold weather combined is called wind chill and can be incredibly dangerous, no matter how many layers you wear. Exposed skin is in particular danger, and you could develop frostbite.
Drink Plenty Of Water
Even though the weather is cold, you can still become dehydrated just as easily as you do in warm weather, so it’s important to drink plenty of water before, during, and after your workout. You might not necessarily feel thirsty or dehydrated at first, but it’s still important to stay properly hydrated. The cold air and wind will dry out your skin, as well as your throat, so skin care is another important reason to stay hydrated in the winter.
Even though it might not be hot, the sun is still shining, so you are still at a high risk of sunburn and skin cancer. To reduce this chance, it’s important to wear plenty of sunscreen on exposed skin, especially if it’s snowed or is icy, as both of these can reflect and intensify the sun’s light.
Be Careful With Asthma
As long as you don’t push yourself too hard, it is generally fine to exercise when you have asthma. However, winter is a completely different story. Of course, you can still exercise, but you need to be even more careful than you normally are. The cold winter air makes it difficult for anyone to breathe, so, if you have asthma, it is even more dangerous. If you do intend to exercise during winter with asthma, then it’s even more important to follow these tips, as well as remember your inhaler every time you go out. However, you should consult with your doctor first, so that they can advise you further.
Go To The Gym
If you don’t like being out in the cold or are worried about exercising in the cold weather, then why not just visit the gym instead? After all, it’s warm, well-lit, and has a large selection of equipment for you to use. If the cost is what is holding you back, then see if any gyms near you offer a free month’s trial, or if you can get a reduced rate when you’re referred by a friend. If you’re still not too sure, then there is are plenty of workouts and exercises that you can do at home, so don’t use winter as an excuse not to stay fit and healthy.
The cold, the winter, the rain, the snow, and the darkness can be a deadly combination during winter, especially if you’re not taking safety precautions when heading out on a jog or bike ride. Luckily, as long as you do stay safe, then you should be absolutely fine, so there is no excuse not to get back on the horse (or bike) and get some exercise in before Christmas.