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The key to surviving winter workouts

This blog post was written by personal trainer Theresa Prior of theresapriorpersonaltraining.net  


As the days get shorter, the air gets chillier and the mornings get frostier, it can be tempting to ditch your workout and take your active wear to a cosy café to sip coffee instead.

 

But winter does not have to spell the end of your exercise routines. With these simple, tried and tested hacks, you’ll be able to enjoy your winter workouts, even if they’re outdoors at 5:30am, while staying warm and dry!


First things first. Once your feet are cold, that’s it! The rest of you is cold and it’s too hard to warm back up. So, to keep feet warm and dry, here are a few great ideas:

  • Waterproof your shoes. Most shoe shops and outdoor adventure shops will stock waterproofing or water-repelling spray. Be sure to check the instructions before you use it, and apply it the night before. You’ll need to do it every week or so, but this one is a game changer! 
  • Invest in woolen socks. Merino socks will change your life! They keep your feet warm and dry, and even if they do get wet, you stay warm.
  • Have spares. If you’ve got errands to run after your workout, have a spare pair of socks and shoes ready and waiting for you in the car. Yes, laundry increases in winter – it’s nothing to go through three or four pairs of socks in a day. But your feet will stay warm!
Secondly, clothing choices can make or break how you feel about winter. There’s nothing better than a long walk outside in winter. Here’s what to do: 
  • Wear layers. This is a tip I picked up before hiking up the snow-covered Mt. Feathertop as a 15-year-old. This advice may be as old as time, but honestly, wearing multiple layers that you can take off as you warm up during the workout, then put back on as you cool down will make things so much easier. Think singlet, t-shirt, long sleeved t-shirt, vest, jumper. Even a pair of trackies over your leggings. 
  • Get some fleecy leggings. We live in a truly magical time when one of our biggest active wear manufacturers has been cluey enough to produce workout tights actually designed for winter! 
  • Get some fleecy stockings. Before the advent of fleecy leggings, I used to wear a pair of fleecy stockings under my workout leggings. Lovely and warm, with no restriction to movement, these were a wardrobe staple for the winter months.
Lastly, it’s the little things that will make the biggest difference. 
  • Get some workout gloves. We all know fingers can physically hurt from the cold winter air, and from holding the cold, winter kettlebells! Invest in a good pair of full length (not fingerless) workout gloves and you’ll thank yourself! Workout gloves are different to regular gloves in that they have a reinforced palm and grip on the inner face for holding onto and using equipment. 
  • Headwear. Having cold ears is really uncomfortable and can make you feel colder than you really are. Grab yourself a buff (a thick headband that can be used as a scarf as well), a beanie, or something in between and feel the difference! 
  • Wear sunscreen. This may sound counter-intuitive but it’s actually not. Sunscreen will help prevent the negative affects that the cold, drier winter air can have on your skin. Windburn, anyone? 
  • Get a good jacket. If you’ve layered well, you won’t need a puffy, down-filled jacket that will restrict your movements. But you may want to wear a thin, breathable spray jacket to keep you drier in the misty ‘spit’ that can sometimes roll through as the sun warms up the clouds. 
  • Bring a bag. No one wants their phone or car key fob getting wet on the dewy grass. And there is nothing worse than putting back on a wet jumper after it has been sitting on the ground. So, give yourself somewhere to put everything and to keep it all safe and dry. Even a sturdy, plastic bag will do here (great to reuse them!) 
  • Do all this for the kids. In comparison to some other countries, even the colder states of Australia (looking at you Tasmania and ACT), we don’t really have a long or particularly cold winter. Rug the kids up, waterproof their shoes and help them enjoy being outdoors in the cooler weather so that you can still find your workout time!
With these hacks, you’ll still be able to keep up your exercise routines. You’ll be thankful when you’re ahead of the game as the warmer months roll back around! 
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