No matter how many New Years resolutions you've made about incorporating exercise into that healthier lifestyle you're wanting to lead, there's just something about waking up early on a pre-dawn, winter morning to make that icy trip to the gym that makes most of us want to forget about the whole thing and hibernate until spring time.
Excuses, however, are a-dime-a-dozen. So if it's not the cold today, it'll be a lack of time tomorrow, or your child's Little League practices three months from now. No question, making the most out of exercise means being prepared to work it, and getting started in the winter time requires more prep time than usual, particularly if you want to do it outdoors.
What follows are a few of the best tips we've found to make that transition to a winter exercise program an easier one for you (hit the links below for the complete lists).
1. Consult with your doctor before undertaking any exercise plan on your own. And, don't be surprised if you receive a detailed exercise prescription from your doctor either.
2. Dressing for cold weather means protecting your extremities (a painful lesson I learned long ago walking nearly two miles a day, 12 months a year in downtown Chicago).
3. A winter workout begins the same way all others do, by warming up your muscles.
4. Maintain your intake of fluids, even when it's cold.
5. Because you may be able to finish your outdoor exercise during the day, wear reflective clothing.
6. Be mindful of your surroundings, for example, taking wind chill factors into consideration.
American Fitness Professionals & Associates
The Mayo Clinic November 1, 2008