It's Cold, But Working Out is Cool

Exercising in the cold made a little easier with these fitness tips

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Robert Carlson, M.D

(RxWiki News) With the pies and cookies and new toys to play with, it can be pretty hard to keep up that fitness routine over the holidays. No need to wait 'til after New Year's to exercise, especially with the activities that can be done outside.

And though it may be more inviting to stay in the warm indoors, exercising in the cold can be made a little easier, according to fitness experts from Loyola Medicine's Center for Fitness.

"Bundle up with a buddy to exercise in the cold."

Kara Smith, a personal trainer and group fitness coordinator at the Loyola Center for Fitness, says it's difficult to stay motivated to exercise in the winter.

"When temperatures plummet, the last thing we want to do is leave the comfort and warmth of our homes," Smith said in a press release.

"But winter is not a good excuse to give up our fitness routines."

To keep on top of exercise, Smith has several tips to keep motivated.

  1. Find an exercise partner to help keep accountable on the scale and schedule exercise time together.
  2. See what fruits and vegetables are in season to try and cook healthy new recipes.
  3. Keep a favorite summertime item of clothing like shorts handy to make sure they still fit.
  4. Try a new fitness activity or purchase a gym membership, many of which often have promotions in January to help with fitness goals.

Valerie Walkowiak, a medical fitness-integration coordinator at the Loyola Center for Fitness said in a press release that with the right preparation, "Winter can be a great time for outdoor activity." Depending on the area, skiing, figure skating or hockey and snowshoeing may be available.

To further help with keeping a winter fitness routine, especially if it's cold outdoors, Walkowiak suggests wearing layers that can be peeled off as the body warms up. The layer closest to the body ought to be made of polypropylene or other synthetic material, and the outermost layer should be breathable and waterproof.

Her other tips include:

  1. Avoid heavy jackets that may cause overheating or cotton, which can stay wet with sweat and cause the skin to get cold.
  2. Wear gloves, hat and scarf to protect the vulnerable nose, fingers and ears. And make sure to have proper shoes and socks, possibly an extra pair to keep toes warm.
  3. Keep hydrated, since winter can be a very dry time, and it's not just the summer when water is needed.
Reviewed by: 
Review Date: 
December 29, 2012
Last Updated:
January 11, 2013