Warming Up To Winter Workouts

You don't hate cardio. You just hate cardio machines or, to be more specific, the electronic and human chatter that's constantly going on around them. If you've been missing the tranquility that comes with training in the great outdoors, winter doesn't have to step on your cardio day buzz. Not if you properly prepare yourself for each outing. Here are a few tips for taking it outside…

1) Layer your clothing using moisture-wicking material as a base. Next come the sweats topped off with a wind-resistant outer layer. Don't forget to cover your head and hands!
2) Since the cold will tighten your muscles, a dynamic warm up and cool down will help get you going and keep you limber.
3) Joggers should shorten their stride and go flat-footed in slippery areas.
4) Cold, dry air can dehydrate you the same as a hot sunny day, so stay hydrated during your session.
5) Snow reflects sunlight creating a need for sunglasses and sun screen.
6) Try to keep the wind as your back on the return leg of your journey.
7) Signs of hypothermia include headache, nausea, confusion and slurred speech. Seek shelter immediately in the event of any symptoms
8) Don't work out outdoors when the temperatures/wind chills are frigid

The Bigger Picture: Cross-country skiing, treks on snow shoes and ice skating are all great cardio activities and, in northern latitudes, a perfect match for the winter months. As with any workout, keeping the intensity within reasonable limits and remaining aware of potential dangers can have you enjoying outdoor training activities throughout the season.
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