We can’t delay the inevitable: For many of us, the weather is turning colder, which means pulling out the winter coats, dusting off our snow shovels, and prepping for a few months’ worth of wind, snow, and ice—brrrr! But here’s one way to stay warm during these chillier seasons: Heat up your workout routine! Amy Osterhout, activities director at Lake Placid, New York’s Whiteface Lodge, provided insight on her favorite workouts for the colder season, as well as tips to stay healthy while doing them.
“The winter season is my favorite season to get out and work out,” Osterhout says. “The reason being that you burn more calories on a cold day than on a hot day because the body uses more energy to generate heat. Athletes and exercise enthusiasts can reach new heights and achieve new goals during the colder months because the body isn’t experiencing the same taxing effects as it would on a humid day.”
For the adventurous, adrenaline-seeking exercise fan, Osterhout recommends:
• Downhill skiing and snowboarding: They’re power and strength-driven workouts, she says. And while both sports are short-lived, the body “is getting in an amazing workout as the cycle repeats itself.” Backcountry skiing and touring and ice climbing are also exhilarating, strength-focused workouts.
And for those seeking more of a cardiovascular option, Osterhout suggests:
• Snowshoeing, running, ice skating, cross-country skiing, and hiking. “Mountaineering can also provide a great cardio workout, as well as a pretty intense strength and power workout,” she says.
Plus, tips for cold weather workouts:
1. Start with the basics. “Just like exercising in warm weather, it’s important to warm up the muscles and stretch before putting a demand on them,” Osterhout shares. As well, “every workout should also be followed by a cool down and stretching to avoid injuries.”
2. H2O is still essential. “Hydration during any exercise is super important, and while the body tends to stay more hydrated in colder weather due to less perspiration, this doesn’t mean that we should drink less water!” she acknowledges.
3. Unpack that winter wardrobe. Dress in layers and wear a warm hat and gloves to keep the muscles warm (and to avoid catching a cold), Osterhout advises.
4. The 4 r’s—rest, recover, relax, and reflect. “It’s also important to rest our muscles and our bodies by taking a day or two off in between intense exercise. The body needs time to recover and a relaxing massage, or reflecting on the day’s activities in the sauna or hot tub, are great ways to take care of overworked muscles,” she continues.
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