Outdoor winter training – 3 top tips
If you’re a fan of outdoor winter training, this post is for you.
Over and above the obvious benefits of continuity in maintaining your fitness regime, exercising outdoors during the winter is a great way to beat the winter blues, as endorphins are a great remedy for the terminal grey that is the British winter.
Here are three tips to help you enjoy and be prepared for outdoor winter training.
Tip 1: dress for the occasion
Match your gear with your circumstances: Prepare for outdoor winter training by choosing the right gear (i.e. water proof trainers, moisture wicking clothing that can be easily removed as you warm up) as well as bringing a rucksack to carry your gear as you remove your layers, as well as warm gear for when you finish.
Make sure you can be seen: less daylight means you are at risk of exercising in less than optimum light conditions. Make sure you wear reflective clothing so that you can be seen, especially by all those pesky vehicles that you will be cruising past.
Tip 2: proactively hydrate
Hydrate for all seasons: You always need to be hydrating when you exercise, regardless of season. With outdoor winter training, the biting cold winds will also dry your skin out. You will therefore need even more water to make sure your skin is properly hydrated.
Don’t cram it in: Make sure that hydration becomes an active part of your daily routine. Don’t make the mistake of trying to drink lots of water right before you exercise outdoors, assuming that’s enough.
Keep topping up your fluid intake on training and non-training days – you will ensure you are always hydrated, meaning you will be keeping your body in good nick, as well as keeping that brain extra sharp.
Helpful tool: Click here for a helpful tool to determine how much water to be taking in each day.
Tip 3: to layer is human
Make sure you use layers when you train outdoors, keeping the following tips in mind:
Keep moisture out: Choose moisture-wicking clothing as it will help you avoid catching a chill (cotton will stay damp and stick to your skin);
Warm that upper body: When training outdoors, your upper body is the most important area to protect. Layer more on the torso and less on the arms and legs – they will be moving more and thus will have more blood flow;
Put a lid on it: Hats are a bone of contention, but I’d opt for the moisture-wicking variety (the wooly ones make you overheat really quickly). Alternatively, go for ear muffs…they keep the ears warm, without causing you to overheat (as well as making a rather dashing fashion statement), and
Wear mitts, not gloves: when you wear gloves your fingertips can get very chilly as they are isolated from the rest of your hand. Wearing mitts will keep all your fingers warm as they are beside each other without barriers…
Final thoughts – dress like you’re about to be much warmer: An excellent rule to consider when deciding how to layer is to dress like its 20 degrees warmer than it actually is. This way you will account for how you feel post warm-up, and you won’t overheat throughout the session.
To learn more about healthy eating habits to achieve your fitness goals, contact James Staring, a leading personal trainer in Clapham, London.
ABOUT JAMES STARING
James Staring is a personal trainer based in Clapham, London. His methods have featured in publications such as Your Fitness, Hello, Healthy, Daily Mail, Closer, and many more. After giving up smoking and entering the fitness industry in 2009, James has focused on his passion to help others transform their health and fitness. However, James is convinced that most people struggle so much more than they need to in an effort to improve their fitness. Through his company, Fit to Last, which he runs with his partner, Ali Page – James has helped hundreds of men and women make small adjustments in their daily habits to transform their fitness and to love how they look and feel.