Working out in cold weather isn’t for everyone, but if treadmill boredom is getting to you, here are eight tips for outdoor winter workouts:
1) Stay visible. Many of us work out either before or after work when winter visibility is low. Be sure to wearreflective clothing, and a headlamp if not working out in full daylight.
2) Use sunscreen. Sunburn can sneak up on you when it’s cold outside. Even a single sunburn can increase your risk for developing sun cancer later in life, so it’s important to use sunscreen even in winter.
3) Wear layers, starting off with clothes that will allow you to warm up without getting hot. This will probably leave you feeling chilly when you first set out, but it’s much better than wearing so many clothes that you wind up perspiring and catching a chill later.
4) Watch your footing. Low light, snow-covered paths and slippery conditions can put you at risk of slipping and falling. If in doubt, walk, don’t run.
5) Wear appropriate socks and footwear.Wool socks are the warmest and help provide additional padding. They have the additional benefit of being warm even when wet. Different thicknesses are available for different temperatures.Waterproof socks and/or shoes will keep your feet dry from outside moisture. Attachable chains for your shoes or boots (see Icetrax or Yaxtrax) will help prevent falling on icy paths or roads.
6) Stay hydrated. The cold can make it harder to notice thirst as well as sunburn.
7) Let someone know where you’ll be and when you expect to get back. Take your phone with you, in case of an emergency.
8) Take it easy. Cold weather can make your blood vessels contract, causing blood pressure to increase. If you’re new to working out, consult your healthcare professional before starting a new routine. Don’t overdo it in the beginning. Instead, work your way up slowly to a more challenging workout.