Winter Fitness Tips: Keeping Fitness Going When It Gets Cold
Unless you’re a bear, there’s no need to hibernate from your fitness routine. Winter offers unique benefits for those drawn to snow and ice. But don’t worry – I’ve got a few ideas for anyone who growls at the cold. Here are five tips for popular winter sports:
Not every winter sport has to be done with calorie burn in mind. Sometimes it’s nice to just take in the beauty of a snowy mountain. Whatever your goal is, if you are going to ski or snowboard this winter, the number one safety tip is to learn how to fall so you don’t injure yourself. Find a qualified ski instructor to teach you proper technique. Your shoulders, wrists and elbows will thank you!
Every winter sport junkie can build endurance indoors by using a treadmill or max trainer. Whether you use adjustable dumbbells, kettlebells, barbells, machines at the gym or at home, strength training is the perfect complement to outdoor exercise. Ice skaters can focus on squats and single leg presses, ice hockey enthusiasts should do pull-ups and bench presses, and skiers should do back extensions and dumbbell rows.
Ice skating is a fun activity to do as a family. More experienced skaters can easily work up a sweat. Talk about a song of ice and fire! If you’re a beginner, or skating with wee ones, focus instead on having fun and keep in mind some basic safety tips. Be sure to keep enough distance between yourself and other skaters, and if (when?) you fall, get out of the way quickly to avoid a pile on.
Winter running offers a ton of benefits. You get a mental boost from better blood flow and nature has a calming effect on your mood. Remember to keep your feet dry, dress in layers so you don’t get overheated, and be careful on icy roads so you don’t slip. On days when it’s unsafe to run outdoors (think: blizzard) you can still get in a great run on a treadmill.
After fun in the snow, consider yoga to unwind. Yoga reduces stress, reduces joint pain, increases flexibility, and boosts your mood. If you are a person who prefers heat to cold, try hot yoga.
To quote that great poet, Pinterest: “You’re only cold if you’re standing still.”