As cold weather continues to blast the majority of the U.S., most people will be working out indoors. A few brave souls still seeking fresh air will want to read these tips to staying healthy while exercising in the cold, plus a few hints for those who are still gym-bound.
1) Lighten your workout if you have a cold.
If you have “above the neck” symptoms, like a runny nose or sore throat, but no symptoms in the chest or swollen lymph nodes, you can still workout. According to FitSugar, it’s a good idea to start at about half the intensity that you usually follow.
2) Avoid wet clothes.
Change out of sweaty clothes before you leave the gym, and if you’re working out outside be sure to pick garments that breath well (not cotton). Wet clothes can make it harder for your body to stay warm, and lead to a weakened immune system.
3) Pick the right gear.
Obviously, you need to bundle up when working out in the cold, but also be sure to protect your skin and eyes from UV rays. Grab shoes with high-traction and wide, stable soles.
4) Warm up inside.
If you’re doing any kind of exercise outdoors in the cold, give your muscles a chance to warm up first. Try some jumping jacks or bicycle crunches to get your whole body moving.
5) Spend some extra time stretching.
We tend to tense our muscles more in the cold, no matter if we running in the snow or just running to the car. Stretching is an important way to protect against muscle injury.