We all know exercising in winter can be the pits — especially on days when all you want to do is curl up into a little ball in front of the heater and eat nothing but hot soup. Sure, it’s ok to give yourself a free pass to warm up instead of sweat it out every now and then but not every day can be an exercise holiday. So, on the days when you do have to brave the cold, it’s important to make sure that you don’t catch some of the nasty winter-related illnesses that are floating around.
By taking the necessary precautions to avoid catching colds and flu, you will have less downtime and fewer distractions from your fitness goals. Here are some of our best tips and tricks for winter workouts to help you stay fit and healthy this winter.
Dress appropriately for the cold
Make sure you layer up for the beginning of your workout and remove clothing items as soon as you start to sweat. Once you start your cool-down time, make sure you layer up again to keep the cold at bay. Invest in a pair of winter workout leggings or compression tights to keep your legs warm while you’re exercising outdoors. A good winter running jacket will also help protect you from wind and rain when you’re braving the elements for a run or exercise session.
Don’t forget to protect your head, hands, feet and ears as well. When it’s cold, blood flow is concentrated on your body’s core, leaving your head, hands and feet vulnerable so invest in a good pair of gloves, winter workout socks, and a beanie. If you can afford to, invest in a pair of winter workout leggings or compression tights to keep your legs warm while you’re exercising outdoors. A good winter running jacket will also help protect you from wind and rain when you’re braving the elements for a run or exercise session.
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Water oxygenates the blood, flushes toxins and helps regulate digestive function, which is vital for overall health and immunity. Make sure to drink at least eight to ten cups of water a day. Invest in a good sports water bottle that you can take with you when exercising outdoors. This will ensure you always have water on hand and are able to replenish any water lost while exercising.
Get your daily dose of vitamin D
Get active outdoors; it’s good for you, your body and the environment. Exercising outdoors means no stuffy aircon, and it minimises your carbon footprint. If you’re not keen to brave the great outdoors on your own then we recommend signing up for an outdoor workout group or convincing your friends to exercise with you. Having like-minded people around will help to distract you during your workout, and it helps to know that there are a few others sweating it out with you.
Bring your own equipment
Invest in a few basic workout tools for home and outdoor workouts. Having the basis like dumbbells, a yoga mat, resistance bands, and a medicine ball or kettle bell will go a long way to helping you stay fit and healthy — sweaty exercise equipment and workout gear is germ heaven so if you can afford to invest in a small kit of your own it’s a great investment in your health.
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Get enough rest
Get at least seven hours of sleep per night, your immune system will thank you by remaining cold and flu-free this winter. In addition to getting enough sleep every night, also ensure that you leave enough time for your body to recover and build rest days into your exercise programme. Take one day a week to do active rest like yoga or stretching and give your muscles time to recover for the next week of training ahead.
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