Winter Training: 5 Tips to Survive the Cold

Training in the winter sounds unpleasant, but it can be beneficial and efficient in some cases. When the body gets cold the heart rate increases and more calories are burned throughout the workout. Additionally, the change in temperature and air quality can strengthen the immune system. Training in the winter can be just as harmful as it is beneficial, so it’s important to follow a few basic rules.

Breathe Mindfully

When training in the cold, breathe in through the nose and out through the mouth. This breathing technique will help warm up the cold air before it reaches your lungs, and prevent your bronchial tubes and mucous membranes from becoming irritated. Pay close attention to your lungs and throat as you breathe, any pain or discomfort may be a sign it’s too cold to train outside today. 

Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate!

In the winter, humidity drops and the air holds much less moisture that it does in the summer. These changes can affect both your body and skin, dehydrating the body and causing pain if the skin splits or becomes too rough. To avoid chafing, take steps to ensure the areas of skin that are exposed to cold winds are moisturized often. Don’t forget to hydrate! It may be cold out, but your body will still need lots and lots of water.

Warm Up, Stretch Out

Muscles, tendons, ligaments, and joints become much tighter in the cold and must be warmed up before action. To avoid injury, get in the habit of warming up your muscles a minimum of 10 minutes before you go out, and stretching them for a minimum of 10 minutes before coming back in.

Dress for the Weather

If you’re not used to training in the cold, it can be easy to misjudge the weather, or be caught by surprise when the wind suddenly picks up. In the winter, layers are your best friend. The innermost layers should be tight to your skin in order to hold in warmth, while the outer layers should be baggier and easier to remove if needed.

Get Some Sun

If at all possible, choose to do your training in the morning or around noon when the sun is at its peak. The extra vitamin D you’ll get from the sun can motivate you and help to elevate your mood. During this time, the sun is in the optimum position to warm you up and stimulate vitamin D production.

Utilize these training tips and get all the benefits of training in different conditions. Getting a work-out in the winter can be intimidating, but cold weather is no excuse to skip out on training day.