How to Prepare for Winter Workouts

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Staying fit indoors can be a daunting task, let alone staying fit during the second phase of the upcoming quarantine. However, if you’ve gone through this once, you might be able to pull it off once again in the next few months of winter. With a few tweaks here and there in your normal workout schedule, you’ll be able to maintain your fitness, even at home. If you’re just starting your fitness journey, however, you might have to exert a bit more effort to fall into this new routine. This guide will help you prepare for winter workouts during the quarantine.

Indoor Workout Tips

If you’re planning to do all your workouts indoors, you’ll have to appropriate a room or an empty part of your house for your daily workouts. According to your fitness goals, you can purchase the necessary gym equipment and place them in that empty space. After that, you can create a workout plan or schedule to suit your work schedule if you’re working from home. To start with this, make sure to follow these few steps.

Warm-Up

Before working out, you must start by warming up. It’s critical that you start with warming up your body and your workout space to elevate your heart rate and avoid taxing your muscles. Cold temperatures can increase the chances of muscle injury. To warm up your house, the people at Buy Firewood Direct say that there’s no better way to do this than by using dried kiln wood, which you can either dry at home or buy at affordable prices online. When choosing a workout outfit, try to avoid cotton and make sure to invest in polyester, polypropylene, and nylon materials instead, as they can dry quickly, which will help you retain warmth. As for warming up exercises, you can either do the run-in-place exercise, jumping jacks, or arm swings.

Write a Fitness Plan

Creating a fitness plan is meant to make reaching your goals much easier. Whether you are trying to lose those extra pounds you’ve gained these past few months, want to build some muscles, or are simply trying to stay fit throughout lockdown, a good fitness plan will help you achieve this. Of course, you’ll need to be consistent with your efforts in order to achieve these goals. If you used to have a workout plan back from your days at the gym, you can use this one or maintain a similar plan. Any fitness plan must include cardio, stretching, relaxation, and strength training, so make sure that you include these exercises in your plan. You should also avoid working the same muscle group for two consecutive days, as your muscles need to rest for at least one day before they’re worked out again. Make sure that you alternate between steady-state and higher intensity exercises to avoid exhaustion. Normally, people will need only 3 days of strength training per week, but if you’re aiming toward gaining more muscle, you’ll need to increase that to 4 days.

Fitness Mat

Now that you have a fitness plan and a spot to do your workouts in, you can think of the gym equipment you’re going to need. The first thing you’ll need to think about is a fitness or a yoga mat. Let’s face it, we’ve all tried working out on carpets before, but it is either uncomfortable or provides little cushioning. Simply put, carpets aren’t always fitness-friendly and can sometimes cause injuries, especially if you’re a beginner. To avoid that, you can get a fitness mat, which will help you maintain stability and provide cushioning. It is particularly helpful for protecting your knees, elbows, and your back if you tend to put a lot of pressure on your joints. Fitness mats will also protect your floors in case you accidentally dropped a dumbbell or kettlebell.

Affordable Sports Equipment

Depending on the type of exercise you have in your fitness plan will you be able to choose the necessary sports equipment. There is an array of equipment that you can purchase online at affordable prices, but if you’re on a budget, you can opt for used sports equipment, which tend to be in good condition, especially if they were manufactured by a well-known brand. Since dumbbells are an integral part of any gym, you can purchase adjustable dumbbells. Since you can adjust their weight according to your needs, you won’t need to get a rack full of dumbbells that will eat up a lot of space.

Indoor Exercises

Since you won’t have the luxury of using gym equipment, you’ll have to make do with what you have at home. There are fitness experts who recommend that you use whatever that can fit into the palm of your hands as a substitute for dumbbells or kettlebells. Whichever you plan to use for working out, you must complete your fitness plan without taxing out your muscles. These following exercises are optimal for beginners.

Kettlebell Swings

Kettlebell swings are a perfect exercise for those who’re trying to burn through their calories. It will boost your endurance and cardiovascular fitness, but make sure that you’re doing the steps for this exercise to minimize the chances of injury. Make sure that you use lighter weights to ease yourself into this exercise, then you can use heavier ones as you get used to it.

Pushups

This is one of the most traditional, but fundamental, strength exercises you can perform. They’re excellent in improving upper body strength and muscles (particularly your triceps, pectoralis major, and anterior deltoid). Make sure that your neck is in a neutral position and that your elbows are pointing backward. If that exercise is too hard for you, you can use an elevated surface, like a bench for example, until you’re comfortable with that exercise.

Step-Ups

If you’re working on improving your stability and balance, you might want to do step-ups. They will work your hamstrings, glutes, quadriceps, and overall, your leg muscles. It is also one of the easiest workouts that you can perform at home. You can also add a backward lunge or a knee drive to increase the difficulty.

Squats

If you’re trying to increase your calorie burn rate, you must increase your squat exercise time. This exercise engages one of the largest muscles in the body, so the results will improve your muscle strength and your calorie burn significantly. Luckily, squats don’t require any special equipment; however, make sure that your pose is correct to avoid any injuries. You can later increase the difficulty by adding weights to the exercise.

Outdoor Workout Tips

Since you’re going to need to do some of your exercises outside, you’ll need to be fully prepared for the lower temperatures and inclement weather. It’s true that waking up early on a winter morning and braving the cold weather is challenging, but it is also an excellent way to increase your body temperature and maintain your warmth. With these few steps, you’ll surely be prepared for exercising outdoors.

Layer Up

Naturally, you’re going to generate a lot of heat as you’re working out, so you’ll feel that you’re much warmer than you actually are. As you start sweating, your sweat will evaporate, which will leech away the heat from your body and leave you freezing. To solve this problem, you can simply dress in layers. That way, you will be able to remove them as you start to sweat and put them back when you’re feeling cold. Layers are effective in maintaining warmth, so you won’t get cold as fast as you used to. Basically, you will need three layers for your winter workouts: a base layer that is preferably made of synthetic fabrics, a middle layer, and an outer layer to protect you from snow, wind, and rain.

Choose Safe Winter Clothing

Sometimes, exercising outdoors on a winter day can border on dangerous. That’s why you have to dress in bright colors and/or reflective strips, especially on dark winter nights. If you’re wearing dark clothes, you can use a head-torch or a reflective bib for extra safety. You should also stick to well-lit areas and spots which you’re familiar with. Otherwise, you might sustain an injury that might take weeks to fully heal. Experts suggest that you avoid exercising if it’s particularly icy outside. In these cases, you can reschedule outdoor exercises or simply continue exercising indoors. If you tend to listen to music or a podcast while outside, be sure to turn down the volume in order to stay aware of what’s happening around you.

Stay Hydrated

In winter, you may not feel inclined to consume as much water as you used to during the summer, but that doesn’t mean that you don’t need hydration. As long as you’re sweating and exerting effort, you’ll need to drink water consistently to make up for the lost fluids. The amount of water you need will depend on a lot of factors, like how much you’re working out, the type of exercises you’re doing, your sweat rate, and the environmental conditions, but to stay on the safe side, make sure that you drink an adequate amount of water before, during, and after exercising.

Be Flexible

Exercising during winter is certainly challenging, but there is always a way around obstacles like that. If it’s too dark outside, for example, you can exercise during lunch break. If the weather is too bad, you can work out indoors instead and follow some of the tips we’ve mentioned earlier. However, if you’re not feeling motivated, you can spice things up by mixing up your routine with other fun activities or changing your routine altogether to make things more entertaining.

Exercises

When the weather is quite dreadful outside, we’d only want to stay indoors and hibernate until next summer, but you should avoid doing this at all costs unless you want to waste away all the effort you’ve put into your fitness plan. Luckily, there are a lot of exercises which you can do outdoors during the colder months of the year. Here are some of the best activities you can do.

Running

It’s no surprise that the one exercise that people commonly prefer doing outside is running, as it has stellar effects on cardiovascular health and endurance. It is also a great way to stay warm outdoors despite the cold weather. In addition to that, running in the cold weather is better for a number of reasons: there won’t be as many people to stare at you, snow will up the difficulty level of your exercise, and you won’t overheat as you did in the summer months. There’s also no additional equipment you’ll need to purchase to do this simple exercise. You can simply run around your neighborhood in the morning and burn as many calories as you need depending on your fitness plan.

Ice Hockey

If you’re living in a colder climate, there are a number of interesting physical activities you can do that are 10 times more entertaining than normal exercises. Ice hockey, for instance, is so much fun when you have your friends around. All you’ll need is a few pieces of equipment, ice, and your friends. Instead of spending all day indoors doing nothing and gaining calories from hearty winter meals, you can spend all afternoon outside burning calories while also having fun. At the end of the day, you can reward yourself with a cup of hot chocolate without having to worry about the extra calories.

Ice Skating

If you’re looking for a low-impact exercise, ice skating is a great option. Everyone can literally ice skate along with you, so you can enjoy quality time with your friends while exercising. It is also a great way to strengthen your legs and inner thighs. Ice skating is one of those exercises which won’t put much stress on your joints unless, of course, you know how to ice skate. As long as you’re following safety measures and using the right equipment, you’ll be good to go.

Winter is not an excuse for not staying in shape. Although you might face some obstacles along the way, you can always find a way around them. Note that you should always have a plan in mind to set things in motion. Use this guide to decide which types of activities will suit you best and use that as a starting point. If you’re still confused about where to start, you can always consult a local exercise expert to help you out.

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