We are very much like the animals that hibernate when it comes to winter. We find ourselves surrendering to sweatpants and comfort foods, curling up in front of the television, and having no shame in becoming a Netflix zombie. It’s all warm and comfy until the signs of spring start to show, but unlike the hibernating animals that emerge energized and thin, we emerge sluggish and fat.
If it wasn’t true more than half of us would not make our New Year’s Resolutions be “I will lose 10lbs before summer”. This year instead of submitting yourself to the gloom and cold, stay active. It may seem difficult, but the rewards of not having to work your butt off, literally, in the gym for 5-6 months will be worth it. Just think, instead of spending months loosing fat you could spend months toning up and by next winter you will be able to have a few hibernation days without packing on pounds.
Unless you’re living where summer is the only season, it’s going to get cold and it doesn’t matter how cold. Cold is cold to your body, and the body does not want to work out when it’s cold. We like to stay warm, and waking up to a cold house is not the best way to wake up your muscles to an hour work out.
Before stretching and all that, throw your workout clothes in the dryer and put it on a spin cycle for 10 minutes. As you brush your teeth, drink some coffee and tell yourself “I know I can” your clothes will be getting super warm. Slip them on right before your workout and you will stay isolated in a warm bundle while you start your workout. Another thing to do is to put your shower on as hot as it can go, shut the door, and create a warm steam room. Start stretching in here to warm up your muscles quicker and then jump into your warm workout outfit from the dryer. Also, make sure you are dressing in layers to keep yourself warm if you plan to go outside.
Inside, Outside, Inside, Outside
Start your workout inside with stretches and walking around the house to complete some simple morning errands. After 10-15 minutes of that, go outside and start jogging/sprinting for 15-20 minutes to give yourself a new change of scenery. When your time is up, return inside and run up and down a flight of stairs, throw in some jumping jacks, do a couple of squats and keep your heart rate up. Return outside and jog again for another 15 minutes. Repeat this until an hour goes by and do a short walk outside followed by a warm stretch inside for a cool down.
You want to keep your body warm so alternating between inside and outside will help. If you start inside and do an hour work outside, by the time you get back in your toes, nose and fingertips will be frozen and even if you feel like you are sweating most of your muscles will be cold. Blood circulates from the core and doesn’t reach all of the places it needs to be, and you don’t want to be risking frostbite or pulling a cold muscle in the harsh winter morning.
Know the Signs
If you are outside for too long and start to feel that pins and needles feeling in your fingertips, call someone to pick you up instead of rushing home. Knowing the signs of frostbite and hypothermia are important to your health and safety. If the sun is shining, you may feel toasty, but if the wind-chill is low, you could suffer.
Some signs that you need to head back in include numbness, loss of feeling or sensations and not being able to touch your thumbs to your pinkies.
Work out in the winter so by this summer you will look sexy in your new swim dresses!