Workout Wednesday: How I Handle Cold Weather

I seem to be on a cold weather kick lately when it comes to posting! Funny though… because we are supposed to be having “Well Above Normal” temperature this year!

Regardless of this fact, the reality is that temperatures are still uncomfortable and un-motivating when it comes to getting out and working out.

image from kids-myshot. nationalgeographic.com

I am NOT made for cold weather. I have a lack of “insulation” and my husband calls me a lizard because I have horrible temperature regulation. I cannot tell you how many times I have returned from being out and about and cannot feel my fingers… even when wearing proper winter attire. In fact… I am one of those people that can legitimately have goosebumps when it is 80 degrees. That being said, I am not doomed to being 100% miserable and unable to get out in the cold winter weather to exercise. So I thought I would share some of my cold weather tips with you to get you on track to workout this winter!

#1 Not all workouts need to be done outside (or at the gym)
So this one seems obvious, but I feel it needs to be said because while it is obvious… people don’t DO it. I used to not have the discipline to do indoor workouts either, mostly because I wasn’t sure if I was choosing the right workout moves or I would get easily distracted and not have good intensity. Now people… I live in an 800 square foot apartment. I literally have an 8’x7′ (56 square feet) space to work out in. You can make it work. BUT, you will need guidance and workouts to follow if you are really going to follow through with this. Need suggestions? Let me know! I can help you select economical, quality workouts that will keep you on track with your fitness from home.

Now, I also know that the gym is a great option… BUT sometimes the weather does not permit us to get out because driving conditions are just too dangerous. I would say this happens a handful of times throughout the winter. I like that I am prepared with at home workouts that will kick my butt, even if I am stuck at home.

#2 Getting proper equipment/attire
I am not rollin’ in the dough people. And I completely understand that quality cold weather gear tends to be expensive. But, I know that I need it if I am going to face the elements. I used to think that I had to suffer in the winter. This is not the case. My husband and I were married in December. I remember after a HUGE snow storm he told me that it is not that the weather is too cold, it is that you are not properly prepared. What a mental shift! I needed to get the proper equipment to be prepared to face the elements. Once I had a good coat, boots, base layer, and gloves… everything changed. I am not paid to say this (I wish I was!), but Under Armour is seriously a game changer when it comes to handling cold weather. I do not know if I would have been able to get out in the winter weather without it the last 5 years. And I have honestly only ever bought 2 pieces of all my cold gear attire! People… ASK for it for a gift!! It is the perfect Christmas gift! Plus, you can find it for cheap on Ebay or Google Shopping. You do not have to succumb yourself to Dick’s Sporting Goods’ or REI’s or other retail stores’ ridiculously high prices. Get it. Be prepared.

#3 Drink enough fluids
If you do not have enough fluids in your system, you will not be able to optimize blood circulation. If blood is not circulating effectively, your extremities will suffer… i.e. cold toes and fingers! I also will be intentional to drink warm beverages after being outside to help warm me up quicker!

#4 HOT showers
This is another way to warm up and feel good after being outside. Knowing that this is coming can be a big motivator when outside!

#5 RUN FASTER
This may seem like another “no brainer,” but it really makes a difference AND is difficult to actually execute. One might think that someone would want to get moving quicker when out in the cold, but reality is, you tend to slow down. Muscles tense up and you reduce your range of motion because of it. Resolve to get moving faster and you will produce more heat and allow blood to flow easier!

#6 Be very aware of the weather forecast… DAYS in advance
Do not rely on the news or weather.com to give you a quality weather report. I strictly use weather.gov and the NOAA App on my phone to get weather related information. It is the most accurate I have found and it helps me to plan ahead for the week. If I know a particular day will be bad, perhaps that will be my rest day or an easier day. Know what is ahead of you so you can stay on track with your workout plan… simply because you make it easier on yourself to stay on track. Set yourself up for success! If you do not have a plan, you are more likely to fail.

#7 Choose to believe it is not so bad
I used to be SO negative about the winter, that as soon as we had our first 50 degree day, I was convinced that I would be freezing and hate the weather. I could not enjoy anything at all about the outdoors. And then comes along my winter-loving hubby. He loves the cooler weather, and know this, has helped me to appreciate it more. Knowing that someone else is enjoying it can increase your tolerance. So much of our experience is our chosen mindset. We must choose to put off the negative thoughts and intentionally think positively. Think about what God is trying to communicate to us through His creation.

So there are my tips! What are your winter workout tips!? I want to hear about them, so comment below!

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