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12/01/2010 - Working Out in Winter

You don’t have to miss your outdoor workouts just because it’s getting colder outside and there may be snow on the ground where you live. Why not embrace the winter weather and get an extra boost? Working out when the weather gets colder can actually help you feel better and make sure you don’t have a ton of changes to make to get ready for shorts and bathing suits in the summer.

That said, you do need to make some changes to your fitness routine. First, make sure you’re dressed properly! Hats are a must – you’re going to lose a lot of your body heat through your head.

Dressing in layers helps too – if you get too warm you can take something off. Just make sure the layer next to your skin is a breathable wicking material and not cotton – it will work like a sponge, keeping sweat and moisture close to your skin and make you colder.

Don’t forget your fingers, toes and face! Gloves, good socks and a scarf or hat that partially covers your face will help you avoid frostbite.

Runner’s World has some great advice if you love running but have trouble hitting the pavement when it’s cold and snowy. And don’t forget – if you run at night make sure you have reflective clothing on so drivers can see you!

WebMD loves cross-country skiing as a great winter workout. I can see why! It works all of your major muscle groups and anyone can do it! Still not convinced? WebMD says a 160-pound adult can burn more than 650 calories an hour skiing cross-country. Wow!

Here are some other winter sports to try:
• Snow shoeing – 950 calories/hour
• Downhill skiing – 450 calories/hour
• Ice skating – 534 calories/hour

Warming up is extra important when it’s cold outside. Before leaving home, do some stretching to loosen up. Once you’re outside – make sure you do a little walking before you decide to run.

Finally, don’t forget to stay hydrated! You might feel less thirsty when it’s cold – but you still want to drink plenty of water. And, if you need to warm up when you’re done – try my recipe for Cream of Broccoli Soup. The protein you get from BiPro will help you recover from your workout!


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