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7 Winter Workout Tips for Exercising Outdoors

Don't wait until spring to get beck outside. Use the tips below to stay comfortable and dry during your winter workouts.

Have the shorter, colder days got you in hibernation mode? Don't let winter get in the way of your outdoor workouts. Outdoor workouts are great for your body and mind NO MATTER the time of year!

Exercise can help ward off those winter blues, boost energy, and keep you feeling fit and healthy.

Try our cold winter fitness tips to keep you staying safe, dry, and fit.

1) Dress Dry Not Just Warm

When gearing up to head outside, make sure you dress for warmth and to stay dry. The last thing you want to feel is cold AND wet. That can make you feel chilled and want to end your workout early. That means skip clothes made from cotton that hold in moisture and soak up sweat and rain. Try to find clothes made from synthetic fibers like polyester, nylon, and polypropylene which are designed to wick sweat away from your body and dry quickly.

2) Layer Up

If you've been a Squad Fitness member for awhile, you will know I ALWAYS talk about the 3 layer rule when dressing for winter workouts. If this is your first time working out in the cold here is the 3 layer rule for dressing for exercise in the cold. First, put on a thin base layer made of synthetic fabrics (discussed above) to help pull sweat away from your skin. If it’s really cold outside, wear a middle layer, such as polar fleece, for extra warmth. Then, add an outer layer (or shell) to protect you from wind, snow, and rain.

3) Wear Bright Colors

I don't always do this, but it's definitely a safe way to go if you are choosing to join our Monday evening class or head out on your own for an evening run. The brighter your clothes, the easier it is for other people and/or cars to see you. Want to be even safer? Try adding reflective tape to your pants/shirt or wearing a wearable flashlight/blinking light.

4) Protect your Extremities

Fingers, ears, nose and toes are also affected by chilly temperatures. Remember to protect your extremities by wearing gloves, a hat/headband that covers ears, and possibly 2 pairs of socks. If you find your toes getting particularly chilly, consider the design of your shoes. Running shoes are designed to let heat escape, but in chilly weather the cold comes right in. The Vessi shoes I recently bought have been great at keeping my feet dry and warm , but at the same time letting some of that heat escape. Wearing two pairs of socks could help with that or you can visit a running store to try on shoes that are specially designed to withstand the winter elements.

5) Check your Traction

This is something I do before every class. Rain, snow, and ice can make the ground quite slippery and unstable when working out outside. Find places that are free of ice and snow to reduce the chance of any injuries. Lucky for you, all of our outdoor winter classes take place where the city clears the snow and salts/sands the ground for safe walking/exercising.

6) Remove Layers as You Heat Up

One of the biggest mistakes is wearing too many layers when heading outside for a winter workout then not peeling them off in time. As soon as you start to feel like your body temperature is at about baseline, that’s the time to start peeling away layers. Remove it and tie it around your waist. If you get cold later, you can put it back on.

Also, keep in mind that your exercise intensity will affect how many layers you need — and how soon you need to start removing them. Runners tend to need fewer layers than walkers because they move faster and produce more body heat.

7) Cool Down Then Change Out of Damp Clothes

Once your have finished a workout outside, cool down and bring your heart rate back to baseline. Once that is done, change out of those damp clothes. Leaving damp clothes on in the cold temperatures can give you a very uncomfortable chill. So head home, change out of those clothes, take a nice warm shower and put on some comfy dry clothes. You deserve it!

By following these 7 simple tips you will be working out in the winter in no time.

See ya in the outdoors!

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