Staying Active In Cold Weather

It can be a breeze to stay active in warmer weather. There are plenty of activities that can be easily done on sunny days such as swimming, running, and a myriad of sports like tennis and soccer. But what about when the weather turns chilly and the days get shorter and shorter? Fall and winter time bring cold and wet conditions that end up keeping otherwise healthy people inside on most days. However, if your aim is to work out despite the detestable weather, there are some tips you should know to keep yourself safe and comfortable.

  • If you're exercising outside in the cold, a way to ease yourself into a workout is to warm up first. Do a few exercises to gradually bring your heart rate up, such as jumping jacks, jump rope, or jogging in place. Since your body's temperature has gone up slightly, and your heart is pumping, it will be less of a shock to you when you go outside. That way, you'll be able to do more exercising at a longer pace.
  • Dress accordingly. Wearing many layers to exercise may seem a bit uncomfortable, but it does help. Essentials like long sleeves, sweat pants, ear muffs, gloves, and hats will keep you from turning in early because of the cold. With multiple layers, however, be sure that they don't prevent you from being able to move correctly. Choose shoes that will prevent falling in icy or wet weather. Also consider reflective clothing so that you can be seen in the evenings when it gets dark earlier.
  • Don’t forget, you're in an entirely different season from spring or summer. Your exercises from that season may need to change as we get used to colder days. Even the addition of keeping the kids in back to school mode may have changed your schedule from before. Take time out to re-examine your goals, favorite activities, and schedule. See if you want to, or should, make any changes to them.
  • If you just can't seem to will yourself out of the house and into the cold, consider staying inside. There's actually many ways to get in a good workout from your house. Consider buying some workout DVDs, or check out a few routines on YouTube. They range in length from just a few minutes to more than an hour. If you set up your own home gym or invest in a treadmill or bike, you can have a comfortable place to exercise without having to go anywhere. There is always the option of going to your local YMCA branch, and exercising there.
  • Eat seasonally! All the good fruits and veggies don't leave with summer. During the fall and winter seasons, foods such as oranges, cranberries, kale, broccoli, cabbage, and grapefruits are all in season.

To find out more about exercise, taking care of yourself, and healthy living, visit the YMCA of Metropolitan Dallas branch near you today.


Authored by: YMCA of Metropolitan Dallas