Couple jogging during winter.

How to Boost Your Winter Workout

The benefits of exercising outdoors in the fresh include things like more energy, less tension and lowered rates of depression. However, when it’s freezing outside you may be tempted to just stay indoors and cuddle up under your blanket. Fitness expert Sean Burch says that winter might actually be a better time for outdoor workouts than summer. “The heat and humidity in the summer can drag you down and tire you faster, but cold weather is invigorating. It stimulates your senses, tunes you into your surroundings – it makes you feel alive.” We’ve got three ways to boost your winter workout so it is most effective and so that it is also safe for you to complete outdoors.

Play it Safe
In warmer months with less dangerous weather hazards, choosing challenging terrain for your outdoor exercise is often beneficial to your health, but when the temperatures dip it’s best to play it safe. For outdoor winter workouts, you want to stay closer to home than you normally might so that if you do slip and fall or overexert and exhaust yourself, you’re close to the warmth and protection of the indoors. If you exercise early in the morning or in the evening after the sun has gone down, you’ll want to look for areas near your home that are well-lit and plowed. Lighting is important so that you can spot potentially icy areas and steer clear of them to avoid injury. Additionally, it’s not just important to you that you have light, you need to be positive that you are visible to motorists who may have difficulty stopping quickly. Wear reflective or colorful clothing and use bike or flashlights to remain as visible as possible.

Warm Up and Cool Down
Before you head out the door, experts advise that you spend some time indoors preparing your muscles for your cold weather workout. Jog in place for five minutes before you plan to go outside to get your muscles revved up. The freezing temperatures can be an incredible shock to your muscles, so once you do step out the door, experts suggest taking short 30 second breaks during the first few minutes of your workout. This allows them to acclimate to the climate and helps prevent damage or discomfort.

Winter workouts also require a cool down period. Three to four minutes before you plan on stopping your workout, slow your pace down. Do your stretching indoors and remove any extra layers of clothing after you’re done. Walk around for another four to five minutes before showering for the most effective cool down.

Know Your Limits and Have Some Flexibility
In the summer, you may be able to run six or seven miles without a problem. During the winter, although you may be able to do the same amount of miles, it takes a much larger toll on your body. When the temperatures are freezing, your body is working overtime to keep you warm and overexerting yourself subjects your body to unnecessary stress. Experts recommend starting the winter slowly and then building up to a longer workout. For example, instead of running six miles, start with three and gradually add a bit more mileage each day.

If you enjoy working out as part of your routine and you keep to a certain schedule, winter can be a very frustrating time for your outdoor exercise. By taking necessary precautions, you can safely work out first thing in the morning, but experts suggest being a bit more flexible with your routine. If possible, stick to late afternoon hours for outdoor exercise when the temperature is at its peak and the roads have been attended to. It’s noble to believe there is no such thing as weather that is too bad to stop you from working out, but trainers and athletic experts remind you to put your safety first. Ice, snow, sleet, hail, unplowed roads or extreme darkness are all serious challenges and it’s best to know when to say no to your outdoor routine.

According to Dr. Kevin Plancher of Plancher Orthopaedics and Sports Medicines, NYC, exercise can help in increasing endorphin (feel good hormones) levels, but since the body has to work harder due to the cold, the endorphin production is further boosted, leading to an even more happier state of mind. Exposure to natural light, of which there is a shortage in the winter, is also proven to help alleviate depression. Your winter workout provides so many benefits, and using these three tips, you can be sure that you’re working out effectively and safely.

Happy fitness woman lifting dumbbells smiling cheerful, fresh and energetic. Mixed race Asian Caucasian fitness girl training isolated on white background.

The Resveralife Life Well Guide: Boost Your Workout 

Haven’t you gone for a workout with the intention of putting in a lot of effort, only to feel exhausted within the first 15 minutes? Anyone who has ever gone to a workout class has been there and it can be really depressing. The simplest way to enjoy your exercise and ensure that it doesn’t feel like a chore is to improve your endurance levels. This Resveralife Live Well Guide helps you to learn how to build up your endurance levels with the help of 5 simple exercises that can be combined to create a circuit-training routine to boost your strength, speed and stamina. To follow this routine, you need to perform one set of all 5 exercises without any breaks, rest for about 30 seconds and repeat the process two more times. You might feel tired and jaded when you start off with this routine, but as time progresses, you should be able to fly through the circuit. And once this circuit becomes easy, your workout classes will be simpler and more enjoyable.

Exercise # 1 – Knee Tuck

This exercise always starts from the top-of-a-plank position. Your hands should be wider than shoulder width and you need to keep your arms straight. The next step is to perform a single pushup by placing your toes on a glider. You can use a paper plate or a washcloth for the glider. The next step is to pull your knees towards the chest and hold the posture when the knees are about 3 inches in front of the hips. Before doing this, don’t forget to ensure that you place your weight in the balls of your feet. Hold the posture for a second and allow your legs slide back to the top-of-a-plank position. Repeat the entire set for about 30 seconds.

Exercise # 2 – Frog Jump

This exercise always starts in a squat position or a sumo position. Bring your palms next to each other in front of the chest, turn your toes outwards at a 45 degree angle, put your feet wider than hip-width and ensure that your quads are parallel to the floor. Jump up and land back in the sumo-squat position. Repeat the jump, only to land back a few inches. Continue jumping backwards and forwards for about 30 seconds.

Exercise # 3 – Crouching Push Ups

This exercise always starts in a push-up position. Place your hands wider than shoulder width, lower the chest towards the floor, bend the knees and press back to bring the knees right under your hips. Lift the hips to straighten the legs and round the spine so as to articulate each vertebra. Once this is done, move back into your starting position. Repeat the entire process for about 30 seconds.

Exercise # 4 – Squat Jumps

This exercise always starts in a squat position. Place your knees in line with your ankles and allow your butt to sink back. The posture should be as if you are just about to sit down in a chair. Clasp the hands in front of your chest and jump. Land with your right leg in front in a lunge position. Repeat the jump and land in a squat position. Repeat the jump and land with your left leg in front in a lunge position. Keep repeating the entire set for about 30 seconds.

Exercise # 5 – The Bridge Exercise

This exercise always starts by lying on your back with the knees bent and the feet placed on gliders. You can use paper plates or washcloths for the glider. Place your weight in your heels, straighten your arms by your sides with the palms facing downwards and lift your hips so that your body resembles a bridge. While the hips are lifted, push the gliders until your legs almost become straight and then pull back your heels to come back to the starting position. Repeat this entire set 20 times.