5 essential winter workout tips

5 essential winter workout tips

One only has to head out at the usual time of the morning to quickly realise that something has turned. With the sun rising ever later and temperatures starting to turn a little cooler, you might be feeling a familiar apprehension to get up for your morning training session.

Take heed of these five essential winter workout tips, and prepare for a fruitful training season, no matter how cold it gets.

Brighten up your gear

If you prefer going for a run before the rest of the neighbourhood wakes up, you have to make sure the people who are using the road can see you clearly. Switch up your workout outfits to include brighter colours and, if need be, a small headlamp or reflective vest.

Don’t forget to warm up

Warming up is essential preparation for workouts year-round, but it’s important to warm up well in winter. When temperatures are cooler, you are at greater risk of spraining and straining muscles and joints. Dynamic warm-ups may be valuable to runners – this includes things like core activation work, arm swings, squats and lunges, and other low-intensity movements that mimic running.

Take note of your breathing

You may have noticed that breathing deeply through your mouth feels a little more strenuous when it’s colder. While inhaling through your nose can be more comfortable, this is not a great option when you’re exerting yourself. By now, you will have become used to wearing a mask, but a thin mouth covering like a buff is actually a very useful piece of apparel when running in winter, as it moistens and warms up the air that you are breathing in as you run. Pay attention to your breath: it should be unstrained and easy.

Hydrate

Even if you might not get as thirsty during workouts in winter as you do in summer, it is crucial to still ensure you are consuming enough liquid to sustain your run and prevent dehydration.

Dress in layers

When dressing for a workout on a particularly cold day, dress in layers. Here’s a suggestion: it is advisable that the first base layer is made of synthetic fabrics with moisture wicking properties, instead of materials that absorb moisture, like cotton. Next, add a middle layer made of something like polar fleece to preserve heat. Top it off with an outer layer that provides protection from the elements, be they rain, wind or sun. In this regard, a lightweight, waterproof weather jacket is a great item to invest in. As you start warming up, it’s easy to gradually remove some of the layers.

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