Exercising outside in the winter can be tough. Not only can it be dangerous, many of us struggle to get motivated to get out when it’s cold and dark outside.
Below are some tips and tricks on safety, clothing, motivation and fitness activities for when winter hits and you need to get some good exercise – including some things you can do with your children!
If you live in the UK, you’ll know that it gets really cold outside here during the winter months (and the autumn months, the spring months and often even the summer months!). With ice, snow, rain and sleet, safety absolutely has to come first.
There are a number of ways you can keep yourself as safe as possible when you’re exercising outside:
- Making yourself visible should be your top priority. If drivers, pedestrians and cyclists are able to see you, you’re keeping everyone safe. You can achieve this by using lighting and reflective gear.
- Make sure your footwear has a good grip. This helps prevent trips and falls on slippery surfaces, e.g. icy pavements.
- Always check the weather forecast. Forewarned is forearmed! Know what you’re up against and never, ever exercise outdoors in extreme weather.
- Hydrate. We know to make sure we’re properly hydrated throughout the summer, but it’s still important to drink plenty of water when you exercise in the winter. Be sure to be hydrated before, during and after you exercise – take a water bottle out with you.
Dressing For Winter Outdoor Exercise
Dressing well for exercising outdoors in the winter can be tricky. You run the risk of getting too hot or too cold. However, we do have some advice for winter workout clothing.
Firstly, layers are your friends. Having several thin layers means that you can take one or two off if you’re getting too warm and put them back on if you’re getting chilly. We highly recommend wearing a waterproof layer, as well.
Your hands, feet and heads are the most vulnerable to frostbite, so these need to be kept warm by warm gloves, socks and hats. And, as we said earlier, investing in a quality pair of trainers with a good grip is essential.
Getting Motivated for Outdoor Exercise in the Winter
One of the biggest challenges is actually wanting to exercise outdoors when it’s cold and dark. But staying active is still really important.
Get a personal trainer
Getting a personal trainer comes with loads of great benefits, including that they hold you accountable. When you have someone there who you’ve paid for and is counting on you to make your session, you’re much more likely to get out!
If you have a clear goal in mind, it can be much easier to get and stay motivated. When you start to see the results coming into fruition, you may find yourself feeling more geared up to get outside to exercise.
Give yourself rewards
It might sound silly, but this can be really effective. You can reward yourself with treats once you’ve successfully completed outdoor exercise. This could be a hot chocolate, a new book, a glass of wine or a hot bubble bath.
Types of Exercise You Can Do Outdoors in the Winter
Here are some types of exercise you might like doing outdoors when the weather is cold.
With running, you don’t need much more than a comfortable pair of trainers and some reflective gear/a headlight. For extra motivation, you could try doing Couch to 5K – this is a handy app that helps you train to run 5K by yourself.
There may be running groups that you can join in your local area, too. Running with a group and paying for a membership gives you that extra little bit of motivation to stick to your fitness plan.
Hiking, when safe to do so, is an excellent form of exercise that can give you spectacular views. A quick Google search will be able to tell you where the nearest hiking spots are to where you live.
Skipping is perfect for a quick blast outside. Skipping ropes are cheap to buy, easy to use and are excellent for burning fat. You can do this in your garden or at your local park.
Cities up and down the country set up outdoor ice skating rinks during the wintertime. This is usually during the Christmas period. Of course, you can also go to indoor ice skating rinks at any time of the year. It’s especially important to wrap up warm when you go ice skating!
Exercising With the Kids
It can be hard to get your children outdoors when it’s cold. Here are some activities to get them to let off some steam.
As long as it’s not slippery, trampolining is brilliant exercise for your children. If your back garden is big enough, you can buy a trampoline and use it all times of year. Just check the surface is clear of ice and debris such as leaves before you let your kids on there.
Who doesn’t love a good scavenger hunt?! Write clues and hide prizes around your garden or local park. This is going to get your children excited and moving around in no time.
You can build your own assault courses from things you have lying around your home. You can make it into a competition by including a timer and prizes if you want to add an extra element of motivation!
For more advice on fitness, take a look at our blog. Fitness Warehouse is a premium online retailer of fitness equipment for commercial gyms and individuals. We offer benches and stands, free weights, cardio equipment, strength equipment, gym flooring, studio gym equipment and much more.