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While we have been lucky with the autumn weather so far, now the clocks have gone back, we are pretty sure the temperatures are going to start to drop soon. Some people might be put off from exercising once November hits, but if you put your trainers away now, all your hard work over the summer months will be undone in no time at all.
Yes, you can take your exercise inside, but running, walking, cycling or rowing outdoors, can energise your soul, lift your spirits and keep you in tip-top condition. We hope our hints and tips will keep you motivated to brace the elements, even when your sofa and slippers are calling you to go back to them.
Have a Goal
If you haven’t got anything to aim for, then going out on a biting Friday morning may well not appeal, so set a goal. Maybe it’s getting into that size ten dress for your Christmas party, running a half marathon in the spring or doing the London to Brighton bike ride, decide what will keep you on track and you will immediately have something to get out from under the duvet for.
We naturally tend to drink less water in the winter, but you still need to keep H2O levels up, especially when you are exercising. You may not feel as if you are overheating or sweating like you do when you run in the sun, but your body still needs to refuel, and you can still become dehydrated even if you can see your icy breath as you run through the woods. Take a bottle of water with you when you are working out, and be sure you to drink more, and eat well, when you are out of the shower and warming up.
If you are working hard, you will get hot, so make sure you wear layers that can be easily taken off and put back on. A vest, t-shirt, and hoodie together with a pair of good quality leggings, sports socks and appropriate trainers are a given, and you can always add a hat and scarf at the start of your session for extra warmth and comfort, and take them off as you heat up.
Look After Your Hands
Painful, chilly hands can be a part of winter workouts, so don’t try to brave it out, instead do the sensible thing and wear gloves. There are some excellent cycling, rowing and running-specific designs on the market which are worth investing in. If it’s a really cold day, you might want to wear a pair of thin glove liners made of a wicking material, or you could pop a hand-warmer in your pocket for extra heat too.
Warm Up and Cool Down
When it is cold, you might want to get running as soon as you step out of the door, but this could do more damage than good. It might be windy and raining, but it is still important to do your pre and post workout stretches and exercises to ensure you don’t pull or muscle, or worse.
If you’re exercising when the sun has gone down, use well-lit areas, wear bright, reflective clothing and either tell someone where you are going or, even better, go with a friend. We know that music can help keep you motivated, but when it’s dark, cold and icy, not being able to hear what’s going on around you can make you vulnerable, so leave the earphones at home.
We hope that these tips will help you exercise safely when temperatures drop, but if it gets too much out there, either workout inside, or have a day off because, while the weather might be better tomorrow, an injury could take you out for weeks.