It is officially winter now in St Louis, where temperatures are dropping below zero on a regular basis. This cold weather, along with the holidays, has definitely put a damper on my exercise. Here are three of my favorite tips for staying active during winter:
Dress for the Weather
I’ve always heard to dress like it’s 20 degrees warmer. So if it is 40 degrees outside, what would you be comfortable wearing in 60 degrees? For some people that may mean a light weight glove, others something heavier. It takes a little trial and error, but tracking the weather and what you wear can be helpful in the future.
For me, weather in the 40s calls for a lightweight glove, ear warmer, tights, and at least a long-sleeve tee, if not fleece. As we get colder, I have heavy weight gloves and fleece lined tights. And I just purchased a neck warmer that can be stretched up over the mouth and nose.
Find Indoor Options
- Indoor fitness classes – If you belong to the Y or a gym, many of their classes are included with membership. I have my favorite classes (tabata!!), but I’ve been experimenting with other options offered at my workplace gym (zumba, strength, yoga).
- Online workouts – Search Youtube for workout videos, and you’ll find thousands of options. There are also dedicated websites to yoga and other forms of exercise. I’ve tried DoYogaWithMe.com who offers hundreds of streaming videos free of charge. You can filter by difficulty, length of video, style and teacher. There are even yoga videos specifically for runners!
- Cardio machines – As much as I hate the treadmill, when the temperature drops low enough or there is ice on the ground, circumstances dictate staying indoors. I’ve recently started listening to audiobooks on my phone, so hopefully this will help pass the time away this year. Previously, I’d try listening to music or watching tv while working out on the treadmill. And of course the treadmill is not your only cardio machine to try, there is also the elliptical, bikes, and rowers.
It takes time for your body to adjust to new workout conditions. Slow your pace or take more frequent walk or rest breaks. And don’t forget to drink water. Your body still sweats when the weather is cold.
What additional tips do you have for staying committed to exercise during the cold winter months?