Tips to keep your temperature up and your weight down during cold-weather workouts

Be sure to avoid cotton or other fabrics that retain moisture, and wear layers so that you can shed them as you warm up.
If packing on the pounds during the winter and exercising the "extra" off during the summer sounds like a familiar pattern, let Stacy Berman, top fitness trainer and owner of Stacy's Boot Camp, a military-style exercise program that takes place outdoors 12 months a year, help break this bad cycle.

"Don't fall prey to this bad routine, since there is no reason you can't take advantage of working out, even outdoors, during the colder weather," says Berman. "It keeps it interesting to keep working out in the fresh air as the seasons change."

Take it from Berman, who weathers the elements for her outdoor classes, "When it comes to working out outdoors, there are a few key factors to keep in mind." Below, Berman offers advice to keep your body warm and your weight down:

Don't slip to get fit. First, be smart about outdoor exercise. If there is a storm or it is extremely cold and icy, stay indoors, as you don't want to put yourself in danger of slipping or getting frostbite, which would set back future exercise.

Listen to your breath. If you have asthma or trouble breathing in the cold weather, stay indoors until its a bit warmer.

Adjust to the elements. Let your body get accustomed to working out in the change of temperature and make sure you don't overdo it the first day. Build slowly and steady to ensure your safety and avoid injury. Increase the time spent outdoors with each routine to help adjust.

Bundle up. Make sure you wear proper clothing. Wear fabrics that wick moisture away from the body so you stay warm and dry. Avoid cotton, which tends to hold the moisture in and remember that layering is an effective way to keep your body warm. Shed layers once you start warming up. Also, make sure your head and hands are properly covered.

Warm up. This is an essential part of working out in the cold, since your risk of injury increases dramatically when the muscles are not properly warmed. Start with a five to 10 minute warm up before stepping into the cold -- something light that gets the blood circulating, such as jogging in place, jumping jacks or jump rope.

Pump it up. Make sure that your main focus while outdoors is on exercises that keep the heart rate up so your body stays warm. Try pushups or lunges mixed in with running or climbing steps, but remember to keep it moving and keep your blood flowing. "You might want to just focus on cardio outdoors and do your strength training at home or in a gym," suggests Berman. "Follow any routine with a cool down and stretch, preferably indoors."

Hydrate. Don't forget about the fluids! Although you may not sweat as much in the cold, your body is still losing vital water and salt, so drink lots of water before, during and after a workout.

Substitute. If outdoor workouts are not your cup of tea, Berman says to get a few good fitness videos or do a trial membership at the gym for a month or two until the weather warms up. "Id rather see a person staying on track for fitness than hibernate totally during the winter," she adds.

For more information, please visit www.stacysbootcamp.com.


Copyright by HealthNewsDigest.com

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