How To Exercise Outside This Winter
Winter is just around the corner and that means it's time to adjust how we exercise. With the weather getting colder and colder in certain parts of the country and world, it’ll get harder and harder to exercise outside. But, it is NOT impossible. You just have to adjust the way that you do it. Here are 10 tips on how to exercise outside this winter during the COVID-19 pandemic.
1. Dress Appropriately
First and foremost, it is important to wear the right amount of layers. You want to make sure that you have enough clothes on to keep you warm but not too many clothes to make you too hot. The solution? Dress in layers that you can remove when needed. Plus, getting close that is waterproof and breathable is a plus. Take some time to experiment to find the right fabrics, clothes, and layers that work for you and your workout.
2. Check Weather Conditions
Next, you want to be aware of the weather. And we don’t just mean whether it will be sunny or not. We mean, what’s the temperature? What will the wind be like? Will there be a bunch of moisture in the air? You don’t need to know these answers to the degree of a scientist, but you should be aware enough to know how it will affect your workout. Then, you can prepare yourself by dressing appropriately and taking extra precautions. Also, know where your limits are. Don’t exercise when you’re at risk of frostbite or when everything is icy and slippery.
Next, you want to make sure that you hydrate! Because the weather is colder, people tend to think that they won’t sweat as much. So, they don’t drink as much water to replace that sweat. But exercise exerts us and builds up body heat. We then naturally sweat no matter the temperature. Plus, you lose water in your body from breathing, being hit by the winter wind, and more. Make sure to drink water to replenish the water you’re losing.
4. Bring A Second Mask
With all that sweating and panting you’re doing, you are getting your mask moist and wet. In the end, you’re eliminating the efficiency of your face mask. You see perspiration can contaminate a mask and reduce the barrier efficiency at the gaps around the sides of your mask. In order to protect yourself from this, it might be a good idea to bring an extra mask to swap out during the workout or immediately after it.
5. A Fitness Class
But now that you know about some things to be mindful of while exercising, what are some activities and practices you can do to stay fit and healthy? One idea is to join a fitness class. There are PLENTY of fitness classes that have adjusted to life during COVID-19 lockdowns. These classes are meeting outside, and in limited capacity, to do strength training like body weight, weight lifting, and more. Find a class near you and join in. That way, you can stay social, stay regular with workouts, and stay conscious of the COVID crisis.
6. Tai Chi
Or maybe you can go out to a park near you and do some Tai Chi in the morning. Nothing can wake up your eyes, mind, and pores like doing Tai Chi shortly after the sun rises. And who knows, there might already be a group of people doing Tai Chi in a park near you. You can learn from them and get to know the people in your area. Plus, Tai Chi is a great workout for balance, meditation, core training.
7. Winter Sports
With cold weather in the air, it might be the right time to get into winter sports. Think snowboarding, skiing, ice skating, or more. While these sports often include buying equipment, they could be investments into a lifelong passion. Though, be mindful of not having physical contact with others when playing in social sports like ice hockey. KEEP YOUR DISTANCE, folks! Plus, who wants to get body-checked anyway?
Or, you can ensure you don’t have physical contact with anyone by sticking with a solitary workout like jogging. Cardio workouts are still a viable way to exercise. So hit the pavement and jog around your neighborhood. If you really want to stay social with your workout, jog with a buddy or two. BUT, make sure to wear your mask.
The same could be said for biking. Biking around your neighborhood is a great way to get exercise and to get around your neighborhood. Let your car rest as you take your bike to places. That way, you’re getting mobile, you’re getting outside, and you’re getting some fitness in to boot. Just be careful of ice!
10. Early Morning Gym Sessions
Lastly, there may be times when you decide you don’t want to work out in the cold. You just want to work out inside. While it’s advised for everyone to workout outside, we understand that sometimes it can be hard… especially during wintertime. If you do decide to workout inside a gym (if a gym or your town is letting you), make sure to wear a mask at all times. Also, make sure to clean your equipment. Plus, try to go there in the early morning when there are fewer people and the whole building has likely been cleaned recently.
Bonus: Exercise At Home
As our last note for you, know that you always have options. If you’re not happy with exercising outside, you can try to exercise indoors. That leads you to a whole new assortment of ideas and ways to exercise. While, again, it’s recommended that you exercise outside, there is no real problem with you exercising at home either. Just always be mindful of your health, the health of others around you, and the state of the world during this difficult time.