Working out is something we can all afford to do a bit more. However, when the weather gets colder all you want to do is get into your bed and wrap yourself in blankets. Combine that with not seeing your body underneath the layers of clothing and you get a recipe for a workout routine disaster. So, here are the essentials you will need in order to stay on top of your workouts even when the weather is not ideal:
Before you go out to do some exercise, you need to give yourself an energy boost, as well as some lightness and freshness to get you inspired. Your smoothie should be full of antioxidants, protein and energy. There are some great recipes you can find online, and you can always meal prep your smoothies and keep them in the freezer for when you need them. If you want your smoothies thicker, make sure you use frozen fruit and avoid adding ice. You can also thicken them by adding bananas and avocado. To up the protein content, use some protein powder, but also try to get some natural protein from nut milk and spinach.
If you like exercising outside, you will need some new gear to make sure you can handle the cold when you are outside. Just putting on a lot of layers isn’t the best option because your body will get progressively warmer. When choosing your clothing, you want to look for a dry material: something that won’t retain sweat, because being in the cold in wet clothes is a cold just waiting to happen. Look for the right compression clothing that you can comfortably move in and that will keep you warm. Put on a hoodie to keep yourself warm and do some warm-up exercise as soon as you go out. When your body temperature gets higher, take off the hoodie and continue on in your workout clothes. Make sure you don’t shock your body by heating up or cooling down too quickly, so taper off your workout accordingly.
Even with the best attitude, you can’t always work out outside. This is when a gym membership will do you good, even if you don’t usually go to the gym. It will ensure that you always have a place to work out and keep your routine even during bad weather. You can also explore new sports and routines by joining group classes or trying out different equipment. So, even if you don’t have a gym membership all year round, get one for the few colder months of the year. If you have a specific sport you train, like skateboarding or skiing, find an indoor arena that offers that sport and get a seasonal pass. Maintaining a routine is crucial for staying in shape over the year and for avoiding any surprises when trying on your spring clothes next season.
When the temperatures drop, your body burns more calories to keep you warm. This means that you need to balance your diet accordingly, and make sure you are getting enough nutrition to keep you going through your workout with the additional energy drain. Since winter is scarce in terms of fresh produce, you should focus on using what is available, making roasted vegetables and hearty soups. However, don’t shy away from frozen foods, because they are just as nutritional if frozen properly. You can make your own mixes of fruit and veggies when they’re in season and freeze them to have them throughout winter. Remember to always eat a small meal full of protein after your workout to help your muscles regenerate and replenish your energy levels.
Working out during winter often requires more motivation than working out during the rest of the year. Therefore, creating a motivation board, finding a buddy to work out with, or getting one-on-one classes with a coach can go a long way toward helping you stay on track. Remind yourself that you are putting your health first and that regular exercise is a key part of a strong immune system which we all need in the colder months.