Finding the courage to be active in the dead of winter can be as difficult as the heat of the summer. The cold feels even colder after the scorching heat of the long summer. Luckily, it rarely gets dangerously cold in most of Australia. As long as you dress appropriately, you will be able to stay warm while getting exercise outside. In fact, the winter is the best and safest time to do intense training because the body isn’t stressed from the heat of summer.
Dress in layers
Anyone who lives in a cold climate will tell you that dressing in layers is the easiest way to stay warm and comfortable. You can always take layers off, but you can’t put on clothes you don’t have.
The material of the clothes is important, too. Synthetic and wool clothing will be most effective for keeping you warm and dry. Cotton is cheap and comfortable, but not good at drying quickly or insulation, especially when wet.
For example, wear two or three layers when going outside depending on the weather. Start with a fitted synthetic base layer, such as a shirt made from nylon, spandex, lycra, or wool. On top of that, wear a loose-fitting long-sleeved shirt. And finally, a hard or softshell vest or jacket, depending on the forecast for rain. This layering makes it easy to moderate your temperature and stay comfortable.
Eat healthy food
Cold and wet weather makes comfort food sound good to make us happy and warm us up. But, comfort food isn’t always the healthiest thing to be eating. Mashed potatoes with cheese and bacon are excellent, but over time they will block your arteries!
Comfort food might make you happy temporarily, but over time it can make the rest of your body unhappy. There are plenty of recipes out there that taste great and incorporate good food that will also keep the rest of your body healthy and happy.
What you can do is make sure you are deliberate about eating good fruits and vegetables. Incorporate them into stews and other hot dishes. Just be careful to watch the sodium content of your soups because they can be quite high.
Continue to drink electrolytes
In cooler weather, you won’t sweat nearly as much as you would in the heat of summer. This can be good for high-intensity training, but you still need to be conscious about taking in water. Just because you aren’t sweating doesn’t mean your body doesn’t require a constant supply of water and electrolytes. For some, it is easier to become dehydrated in cold weather because they aren’t visibly dripping with sweat.
Your body uses water for other things besides cooling itself. It is crucial for maintaining good blood flow to every part of the body. Many people don’t realise that a good amount of water vapour is expelled whenever you exhale. If you are breathing heavily, you are losing water. It’s just not always visible unless it’s quite cold.
When you are hydrating during exercise, you need to keep a good balance of sodium and other elements so that your body can function properly. If you drink too much water without other essential elements, you can become hypotonic, which is where your body is essentially too diluted with water. This can cause swelling of the brain, negatively affect your nervous system, and lead to potentially serious injury. Having an electrolyte drink or tablets on hand is a wise decision whenever working out.
Take advantage of cool weather
The cooler months are a great time to be outside because you don’t have to worry about the heat or intense sun like the summer. As long as you are conscious about what you put in your body, especially electrolytes, you can make great gains in your fitness and health.