By Joli Guenther, MSSW, NASM
By investing in your Horizon fitness equipment, you've taken
a huge step towards making your workouts convenient and comfortable. Have you thought adding in some outdoor
winter workouts to keep the fun in your fitness routine this winter? While short days and chilly temps can make an
outdoor workout seem daunting at this time of year, getting outside can be a
great complement to your day to day routine.
Outdoor workouts can give you a big lift psychologically, make the
winter seem livable, and give you a leg up on your spring training. So what are the keys to making outdoor
Dress for it! There is no bad weather, only bad clothes. Take
advantage of the post-Christmas sales to set yourself up, if you don't already
have the layers you need to hit the trails.
For aerobic winter sports (think snow shoeing, running, or cross country
skiing), layers are key. Generally you'll
need to be prepared for up to three layers on your upper body and two on your
lower body. Next to your skin, you want
a synthetic layer that will wick moisture.
A thick pair of running tights and a tech top will do here. Add a wind breaker on top (preferably one
with ventilation). If you're out in the
snow or the temps are under 15 or 20 degrees (depending on your comfort level),
you'll want to add a similar layer on the bottom. In very cold temps (low teens and single
digits), add a third layer to insulate on top (think fleece and wear it under
your wind breaker). Remember to wear a
hat or head band and light weight gloves.
Though not essential, additional nice-to-have items include a
lightweight pair of wool socks and a neck gater to cut down on drafts.
Warm up! Warming up inside can make getting out the
door a lot easier. Some tricks you might
try include throwing your clothes in the dryer for a few minutes, taking a hot
shower (just wait until afterwards to soak your head), or doing some brief cardio
on your exercise equipment. The key is
to warm up enough to barely begin sweating.
Too much and you'll get chilled when you head outside.
Go for it! Even the roughest winter has a few nice
days. Take advantage of the few times
that the weather and your schedule allow you to get outside to soak up some
daylight and fresh air. Keep your
routine flexible enough to have a back up plan, then head out the door when
opportunity presents itself.
Weigh in: We'd love to hear what keeps you going during
the winter months, both on and outside of your fitness equipment.