Do not hibernate: How to exercise in cold weather

IN COLD WEATHER, WITHOUT NECESSITY, you do not want to leave the house. Even if you work out in the gym as usual, you probably walk less in winter than in summer. And when we move less, it can negatively affect our mood and well-being. Here’s how to make winter activities more comfortable, stay motivated and learn something new, despite the gloomy weather.   

Learn new

You can set yourself a small goal – master a new type of winter activity or improve what you already own. Winter is finite, so the classes are unlikely to have time to get bored, and you will not have to continue them all year round. The most effective, but also the most expensive, option is to train with a trainer. If you are learning skating, skiing or snowboarding from scratch, it is best to find an instructor for at least the first few workouts. Then videos will help – on YouTube you can find whole schools of snowboarding or, for example, winter running .   

We remind you that safety is more important than performance, and you should not scold yourself for mistakes and failures. Your goal is not to become a champion in your chosen sport, but to have a good time and learn something. 

Work in the company

Physical activity should improve your mood, and not be a burden. Therefore, we suggest adding elements to it that please you – whether it be music or an audiobook in the player or a group of friends and family. Walking together, jogging or amateur hockey in the yard is no worse than going to a museum or cinema. You can distribute organizational issues: one will pick up friends by car, the other will take care of thermos with tea.

Most likely, a party at the rink will not give such a serious physical activity as a lesson with a trainer, but it all depends on the tasks. If it’s important to be outdoors and have a good time, then you don’t have to give all the best. And if you are professionally involved in sports and clearly know what results you want to achieve in the current season, you do not need this material at all.

Choose thermal underwear 

The very word “thermal underwear” is no longer associated with leggings with a fleece, but with dense and pressing leggings and turtlenecks – quite. But technologies and fabrics are improving, and today’s thermal leggings may not be thicker than ordinary tights; The size-matched thermal underwear is not felt on the body and can be an excellent substitute for home clothes or pajamas. It can even be silk or woolen .   

For outdoor workouts, thermal underwear made especially for sports is best suited: such things will not slip or crumple under clothes during active movements, and they will definitely let moisture out. Manufacturers often indicate what temperature things are designed for – for example, up to ten degrees below zero or even up to minus twenty with additional wind protection.    

Dress in layers

Even at school physics lessons, they explained to us that two thin sweaters warm better than one thick one – after all, heat is provided not by the fabric, but by the layer of air under it. The layering principle implies at least three basic elements: a moisture-wicking inner layer, a heat insulating middle layer, and an outer layer that protects against wind, rain or snow. This is the basis from which you can choose the ideal format for yourself. 

On an indoor skating rink, you will most likely get by with two layers for the top – a thermal shirt and a zip fleece, and on your feet it will be enough to put on tight leggings. If you ride on the street, a windbreaker will come in handy; a down jacket for the way home can be safely handed over to the wardrobe. The American Ski Patrol recommends runners in compact layers that can be easily stowed away in a backpack as you get warm. Skiers and snowboarders need gear that won’t be too hot on the descent and cold on the climb – including zipped turtlenecks, ventilated pants, and hooded jackets.   

Choose comfortable equipment

We often use sports equipment for many years, forgetting that it is being improved and now can provide a different level of convenience. For example, skates can now be matched not only in size, but also in leg fullness , and many hockey models can be individually fitted on the leg. To do this, the boot is heated in a special oven, after which it is put on and laced up – and the foam filler changes its shape; this is called thermoforming .    

Sneakers for winter should be selected depending on where you are running. Nike has a two-layer model that perfectly protects from cold and moisture – the inner tight-fitting layer is closed with an outer protective one; These are sneakers for urban, that is, running on asphalt. Those who are mastering cross-country running, snow and ice, need other shoes – with a waterproof membrane and possibly spikes .     

Don’t forget about accessories

During activity, it becomes hot first of all in the center of the body – but the arms, legs, neck and head can continue to freeze. You can get a separate set of scarves, hats and gloves for sports and, if you wish, run them through the wash and dry at least after each workout. The most convenient things are without unnecessary details like laces and tassels: a smooth hat and a tube scarf. For safety reasons (so as not to lose each other on a skating rink or on a snowy slope), especially if you are with children, it is better to choose accessories in bright colors. 

Winter sports gloves wick moisture away , keep the wind out and fit snugly around the wrists. They also often have reflective elements and have a coating on their fingertips that allows you to use your smartphone. In general, it is likely that you should buy sports gloves and you will start using them even for going to the store.  

Take care of your eyes 

Snow and ice on a sunny day greatly increase the impact of light – which is why it is so easy to get burned in a ski resort. Eyes suffer from bright light and glare, and although mild irritation and lacrimation are not dangerous, in the worst case, photokeratitis is possible – inflammation of the cornea with temporary loss of vision.   

Regular sunglasses can help, but if you regularly exercise in sunny winter weather, it is better to opt for special sports ones. Usually they are wide, that is, they do not obstruct the view, are made of unbreakable materials, hold firmly on the head due to the elastic band, do not fog up – and they can also look completely futuristic . 

Protect your skin

The contrast of temperatures outside and indoors forces the whole body (including the skin) to spend its resources on cooling and heating; the relative humidity drops due to heating , and the skin evaporates more water, becoming drier. If you add to this the effect of the wind, you will definitely not envy the state of your face.  

Winter can apply two different wetting agents: one with moisture-retaining ingredients such as hyaluronic acid or urea, and the second – locking with such oils or silicones. This second product will create a protective barrier on the skin. Throw lip balm and heavy hand cream into your sports backpack. And, of course, sunscreens cannot be neglected, even in winter.   

Remember to eat and drink

In winter, it is easy to forget about hydration: the dryness in the mouth, as in the summer heat, does not appear, and the thought of cool water makes it colder. Nevertheless, fluid loss occurs during active movement and needs to be replenished . Alcohol does not count, that is, mulled wine at the rink, although it helps to create a festive mood, does not compensate for the loss of fluid. Order tea from the buffet too – or take it from home in a thermos or thermo mug .   

A post-workout snack is also beneficial: you won’t be hungry by the time you get home. The easiest way is to take an apple or a sandwich from home, but if you want a warm meal, a thermal container will help out , which will keep the pasta or soup warm.  

Lazy if you feel like it

Regular classes are great, but sometimes you can and should afford to spend the weekend in bed with the show. It is in winter that it is more valuable than ever for recuperation. Do not scold yourself for not wanting to go out when it is snowing or slush outside the window. Perhaps right now you need to lie down, sleep longer and not do anything important – and your strength will return along with a new wave of motivation.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *