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How to Work Out Safely in the Winter

Craig Middleton
Many Americans list losing weight as their top resolution for the new year. Of course, this is easier said than done. Part of the issue is that working out during January or February is much harder than it is in the summer. Still, there are ways to continue exercising even during the winter. Read on for more details.

Stay Motivated

It's not difficult to look at the snowy, cold weather outside and spend the day curled up in front of the fire. Staying motivated to exercise can thus be tough during the winter. Start by setting your alarm so it goes off early in the morning. Moving at the start of the day will keep you energized for hours.
If you aren’t a morning person, just remind yourself that pushing through your tiredness will help you feel better in the afternoon and evening. To further ramp up your motivation, try changing your workout routine. Sign up for a new class or hire a different trainer.

Start Early in the Winter

In most areas of the country, December weather is more tolerable than the cold temperatures of January and February. You thus shouldn’t wait until New Year's Day to start working out.
Develop a routine in the early days of winter and stick to it as the weather gets worse. It is also easier to begin exercising before the holiday season, when family gatherings may take up much of your time.

Dress Properly

Just because your body will be getting warm outside doesn’t mean you can dress as if it is springtime. If you are working out in the elements, be sure to put some layers on top of your men's workout pants and shirts. It's not just cold air that you have to worry about, either.
When your body gets wet, it loses heat more quickly. For your bottom layer of clothes, avoid cotton and instead choose outfits made of wicking material. Specifically, opt for synthetic fibers such as nylon, polypropylene and polyester. If it is really cold, add a middle layer such as a fleece vest.
Then put on your jacket. Make sure your top layer protects you from snow, wind, and rain. Still, you don’t want to overdress for the winter weather. Otherwise, you could overheat once your workout begins. Dress so that you are a bit chilly when you head outside. You will warm up once you get moving. Don’t forget that it is often dark in the winter, as well.
Your top layer should feature bright clothes so pedestrians and drivers can see you. You may also want to consider buying wearable flashlights or reflective gear. Finally, be sure to cover up your head and extremities before heading to your outdoor workout. Grab a hat and gloves or mittens made of synthetic or wool materials.

Get Acclimated to the Cold

Most people don’t jump into a pool right away. They take a few minutes to get used to the temperature. Similarly, you need to acclimate your body to the cold weather before a winter workout. Consider doing some quick aerobics indoors before heading outside. This way, you will already be warmed up.
You may also have trouble breathing the cold, sharp air when you first step outside. Start out with slower exercises until your lungs are more comfortable.

Drink Water

Even if it is cold, you need to stay hydrated. After all, you will still sweat as your workout intensifies. Failing to drink enough water could lead to severe dehydration. Consider Indoor Alternatives If there are several feet of snow outside, or if the roads are icy, the safer option is exercising inside.
If you don’t have a treadmill or indoor bicycle at home, you can always do planks, burpees or jump squats in your living room. Your workouts don’t have to stop just because it is wintertime. By following the above steps, you can stay in shape all year long.