Winter Workout Guide

Much to the dismay of many people in the northern half of the country, winter is approaching. The summer heat is fading and it may be time to start thinking about how you will work out when the temperature drops. Many fitness enthusiasts turn to treadmills and stationary bikes during the winter months but there are a number of studies that prove heading into the frozen tundra could be good for your fitness. Lets dive into what proper clothing, and activity can help keep you in shape, and in good spirits during the dark days of winter.winter_workout_motivation

What to Wear

With it being cold outside, many will bundle up when gearing up for a workout. The best practice to ensure you do not overheat is to layer your clothing. This way you can peel off the clothing as your body heats up through exercise. For a base-layer, it is best to wear sweat wicking material in order to pull moisture away from your body. The next layer up should serve as insulation, wool or fleece material is often used for this. Outer layers are typically shell-type materials that break the wind and water that may be trying to get give you a chill.

Be sure to wear protection for your extremities as well. Gloves, ear, neck and face warmers may be appropriate if temperatures drop low. Your body will automatically heat your core to the correct temperature in the cold for survival but you need to be the judge for how to keep your exposed extremities warm.

Health Risks

Be aware of overexertion in the cold weather. It is easy for active people to overlook the extra stress that cold weather conditions can put on the body like snow, sleet, slush, etc. Be aware of your energy output to avoid exhaustion.

Every year, some individuals will fall victim to a heart condition from shoveling snow in their driveway. Strenuous activity in cold weather can place a lot of stress on your heart which increases a person’s risk of a heart attack.

Beware of the cold touch of frost bite. Harping on a point covered above, keep your extremities warm to avoid this happening to you. Any exposed skin can freeze in a half hour if if the temperature falls below 18 degrees Fahrenheit.

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Swim Fitness

Swimming can help a person’s personal fitness level in a number of ways, while being available to those of all shapes, sizes, ages and abilities. This total body, cardiovascular workout helps improve heart rate and blood flow while keeping body fat off, but this is not the only benefit one’s body will enjoy from the activity. Peripheral motions, along with the low impact nature of the workout offers many benefits, see the list below for a deeper insight.images-1

Adding Muscle Tone

Swimming through water provides 12 times more resistance than the earth’s atmosphere, offering a more challenging cardiovascular activity. The fluid and constant resistance of the water can be mimicked in such exercises as using resistance bands of or machines, without the equalizing motion of raising and lowering repetitions.

Controlled Respiratory Action

It is impossible to breath while underwater, which forces swimmers to regulate their air intake on a less frequent basis than they usually would outside of water. With that high volume of moisture surrounding swimmers, the air they are breathing is much easier to inhale compared to the dry alternative at the gym. Swimming has been known to help improve asthma symptoms in patients up to a year after they stop swimming.

Low Impact

The human body is naturally buoyant in water, which makes for a very low impact exercise. The constant resistance is the main point of contact, which is spread across a swimmers entire body. Should the pool be heated, this will further loosen joints and benefit swimmers in the water.


The motions of different swimming strokes offer a wider range of motion for body parts that cannot be mimicked in a gym. Refining these strokes offer better flexibility across one’s entire body. As Swimmer’s skills improve, their reach for each stroke will elongate, furthering their flexibility which improves posture and overall health.

Endorphin Boosts

Tranquility in exercise is something athletes look for during long range cardio. Running on a track in circles can sometimes stress athletes out and become boring. Studies have shown that swimming can produce endorphins similar to the relaxation poses in yoga.

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