2/7/13

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Winter Workouts: Five Tips for Staying Safe and Warm

For many of us, spring fever is here—that time of year when spring is so close that you can almost “taste” it, and the warmer days cannot get here fast enough! The good news is that you don’t have to wait until the seasons officially change in order to enjoy a great workout outdoors. Today, Garden of the Gods Club Sports Club Manager Lauralee Beerman shares her top tips for staying warm and safe during those invigorating, outdoor winter workouts.

If you enjoy outdoor workouts during the winter, here are some must-haves for staying safe and warm.

If you enjoy outdoor workouts during winter, read our tips for staying safe and warm.

  1. Adequately cover your neck and head. Because nearly 30-40 percent of body heat escapes from the head, it’s important to cover your head. “If you can’t stand to wear a winter hat, opt for a warm head wrap that covers your ears and forehead,” Lauralee said. “We also tend to hold excess tension in our necks and shoulders, especially when we’re cold,” Lauralee added. “Because of this, it’s important to wear a scarf or other neck covering. Keeping your neck and chest warm will help you achieve a more efficient workout.”
  2. Layer properly. “Many people end up with clothing that is too baggy when they try to layer,” Lauralee said. “However, layering correctly is a great strategy for staying warm during cold, outdoor workouts,” she explained. “Start with a layer that is made of moisture-wicking material. This type of material pulls excess moisture away from the body’s core to help keep you warm,” she added. “Next, add fleece to hold in warmth, followed by a water-resistant outer layer. I like to choose a bright, reflective color for my outer layer so that it’s easier for cars and other people to see me.”
  3. Choose footwear with grip. “Because outdoor workouts during the winter often involve treading on snow or black ice, choose a shoe that has Vibram soles or a similar material that has traction,” Lauralee advised. “You don’t want to risk slipping and twisting an ankle or sustaining any other type of injury.”
  4. Pack the right fuel. Fueling your body with nutritious food prior to a workout is very important. “Working out in cooler temps can eat up even more calories than a traditional, indoor workout,” Lauralee said. “To properly fuel for a more difficult workout, choose a snack that that combines healthy fat and protein, and eat it a couple of hours before your workout. I like something with peanut butter, nuts, or a gel,” she continued. “For a lighter workout, choose a small snack like a piece of fruit and a bit of cheese. It’s important to not head outdoors on an empty stomach.”
  5. Pack a light source and important identification. “If you like to workout toward the end of the day, it’s always good to have a light source with you as dusk approaches,” Lauralee cautioned. “Headlamps or mini key chain flashlights are great items to have on-hand if the need arises,” she continued. “I also recommend carrying a source of identification and your cell phone in case of emergency.”

If you love to enjoy the outdoors during the winter months, incorporate these tips for staying safe and warm into your workout routine. Do you have any other helpful tips for working out outside throughout the winter? If so, please share them in the comments box below.

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