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4 key winter training tips

Let's Play Outside

The cold weather often keeps us indoors more than we’d like, even though winter sports can be really fun when the right precautions are taken! Here are four things you can do to help you deal with the cold while staying in shape:

1. Multiple layers!

The best thing to do is to wear a windbreaker over a warm shirt or coat. As your body temperature rises, you’ll be able to take off some clothes to avoid feeling too hot. If you are doing high intensity training, your own metabolic heat production should be enough to keep you warm. Make sure to choose the right clothes, but more importantly, the right type of fabric, as multiple layers only will not be enough. Go to outdoor equipment stores and seek information from experts. The objective is to retain heat and evacuate excess humidity. Also, remember to wear a warm winter hat!

2. Dynamic warm-up, preferably indoors

The purpose of warming up is to increase body temperature to prepare it for the work. Dynamic movements should therefore activate large muscle groups and slowly increase the range of motion to increase blood flow and make it easier to use the muscles in a very cold environment. Static stretching should only be done post-workout! Warm-ups should leave you a little out of breath. Make sure to reach the intensity you will want to maintain during your outdoor workout; for example by doing sprints or raising your knees as high as possible in the living room before heading out.

3. Proper pre- and post-nutrition 

You need to have energy in order to burn it! When you train in a cold environment, the muscles use more energy. Therefore, reserves are depleted at a faster rate and fatigue is quick to set in. Eat a small snack one hour before and after (with protein and carbs). During longer workouts, eat carbs.

4. Stay hydrated

You may feel less thirsty in cold weather, but your body still needs to be hydrated! To make things easier for your throat, carry a bottle of lukewarm water and take frequent sips during your workout.

We’re hoping that these winter training tips will help motivate you to get outside for your training sessions! Since it’s sometimes harder to breathe in the cold air, you should ideally start nice and slowly with a few short training sessions before moving to more intense sessions once your body gets used to the winter weather.

For a bonus fifth tip to help you train better this winter, go check out the original article on the Nautilus Plus blog!