Winter is definitely on its way, but cold weather shouldn’t deter you from enjoying outdoor workouts. In fact, exercising in the cold can be invigorating and offer unique benefits while helping keep your vitamin D levels higher for immunity. Here are some excellent cold-weather outdoor workouts to add into your winter routine!
It’s time to layer up! While an outdoor run may be chilly at first, you will heat up in no time. Wear moisture-wicking base layers to keep sweat away from your skin, followed by insulating layers, and a windproof and waterproof outer layer. You can also warm up inside to get your body temperature up before stepping out into the cold.
Speaking of stepping out, don’t forget to make sure you have proper footwear. Invest in winter running shoes with good traction to prevent slipping on icy surfaces.
Lastly, make sure to drink water. Even in cold weather, staying hydrated is essential. If you can, drink water before, during and after your run.
Snowshoeing & Cross Country Skiing
While running in the cold is doable when there’s no ice or snow, what do you do when precipitation starts? Break out the snowshoes or cross country skis!
Snowshoeing and cross country skiing are excellent cardiovascular workouts that also engage your leg and arm muscles. The key to enjoying this activity is to keep your extremities warm by dressing in layers. Wear moisture-wicking base layers, insulating layers and a waterproof outer layer. Don’t forget warm gloves, a hat and waterproof boots.
A great workout to do with the whole family is ice skating! Ice skating engages the leg muscles, especially the quadriceps and glutes, while also improving balance and coordination.
Before you hit the ice, do a light warm-up to prevent muscle strains.
Scenic and calming, winter hikes can be especially beautiful. The quiet surroundings can provide a meditative experience as you simultaneously get a great cardio and leg-strengthening workout in. To get the most out of your hike, wear insulated, waterproof boots, moisture-wicking clothing, and layers to stay warm and dry.
Sled Pushes and Pulls
Want to get more of a strength-building workout in? Try sled pushes and pulls! Find a sled and load it with weights. Pushing and pulling the sled is a great way to engage your entire body, especially the legs, core, and upper body.
Access your inner child and spend quality time with friends or family with a good, old-fashioned snowball fight! Believe it or not, this can be a surprisingly effective workout, especially for your core and lower body!
Outdoor Circuit Training
Instead of doing circuit training inside, take it to the great outdoors! Incorporate bodyweight exercises like push-ups, squats, lunges, and planks anywhere from your driveway to your local park. Combine these with activities like jumping jacks, sprints, and burpees for a full-body workout.
Calisthenics at a Park
Playground equipment doesn’t necessarily have to be just for kids! Parks with pull-up bars, parallel bars, and other equipment offer opportunities for bodyweight exercises like pull-ups, dips, and leg raises.
As you head outdoors this winter, remember to stay safe and listen to your body. Cold weather can be harsh on your skin and respiratory system, so dressing appropriately and warming up properly is crucial. Always check the weather forecast, and if conditions become too extreme, consider moving your workout indoors.
Let Us Help You Embrace the Journey
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You are unique and so is your body! Before starting any new health routine, always be sure to talk with your doctor to make sure it is right for your needs.