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Just because the weather’s getting colder, that doesn’t mean your favorite outdoor workout grind has to slow to a halt. With the right preparations, you can keep getting that valuable outdoor time you need during the pandemic, all while keeping yourself comfortable. 

Protect yourself from the harsh winter weather by learning how to prepare yourself for winter workouts this year, and you’ll avoid putting on pounds during the toughest time of the year.

Give Your Warmup a Tune-Up

If you struggle with pain during or after winter workouts, it might be due to a lack of a quality warmup routine. Warmups are the most important part of an outdoor winter workout in any weather, but they’re especially crucial when it’s freezing cold outside. 

Your body doesn’t adjust well to the cold, meaning that if you haven’t warmed up before an exercise, your body will face a higher risk of sprains, strains, and other dangerous athletic injuries.

Remember that your warmups rely on the type of workout you plan to do. Match the proper warmup to the exercises that will occur during your workouts, such as lunges and arm swings for running. You want to choose warmup movements that are similar to those of the full workout.

Check Your Gear

Before you head outside, you need to make sure you’ll be warm and dry for your own safety. Staying dry is a key part of a safe winter workout. Even if it’s not snowing outside, you should still choose clothing that will keep you warm and dry. 

Wearing the wrong clothes can cause all the sweat from your workout to stick to your body, creating dangerous dampness. A damp body is more likely to experience frostbite or hypothermia, even if you can’t feel it during your workout.

During your workout, wear three layers: a breathable, skintight base layer; any number of insulating middle layers; and a waterproof outside layer. Once you feel yourself getting warm from the intense workout, start taking off the extra layers of insulation.

If you already own some winter workout clothes, perform a checkup on them before you start your exercises. You may need to replace your most used workout gear before the worst of the winter weather begins. 

If you don’t have any winter workout clothes, protect your health, and invest in a special winter wardrobe for your bitter cold workouts.

Plan Ahead

Shorter days and awful weather mean you may need to alter your workout schedule depending on the day. Pushing yourself during the winter is more dangerous than pushing yourself in any other season. 

As part of how to prepare yourself for winter workouts this year, plan a day ahead of every workout. Check the weather and assess your progress during your last workout. 

Don’t forget to pack yourself a backpack full of the essentials, including water, extra layers, and maybe even a portable battery pack for your phone. Extra planning can save you from putting yourself in danger.

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