Are you an outdoorsy person who despises conventional training places like the gym?
A great many people have never had gym memberships and have little intention of acquiring one.
There are several benefits to exercise as we all know, and science has proven that regular exercise assists with depression and anxiety in particular. Training outdoors gives you the opportunity to connect and be closer to nature and where better than in London, where there is an abundance of landmarks, parks and open spaces with fantastic views to give you the added feel good factor!! The outdoors connection helps you to feel more human, hence it is in keeping with a healthier mind and attitude. Thus, assisting in our everyday lives in coping with regular stress triggers.
Another positive to working out outdoors means you burn more calories as your body adapts to the unknown environment, elements and terrain. As the body copes with adjustments to thermostatic response, this in turn increases basal metabolism, a massive benefit for those who are particularly looking for fat loss.
Are you a Novice?
Athletes such as skiers, hockey players, rugby and football players all continue to train in the outdoors, in the winter, despite weather conditions because this is what their sport requires, and their bodies are used to and equipped in dealing with the elements.
If you are a novice in exercise and not accustomed to training, particularly in the cold and outdoors, it is important to prepare yourself and your body to handle the extremities so that you lessen any incidence of injury or ill health.
Here are some tips and tricks to help you prepare for outdoor training in the winter months:
Layering up is essential to keep your temperature at an optimum level when outdoors during the winter months. This preserves heat and prevents hypothermia. Avoid wearing shorts in the cold weather, as this hardens synovial fluid which helps in keeping your joints supple and prevents injury occurring.
Warm up routines are essential in slowly bringing up the body’s temperature. Slowly build up with dynamic stretches and progress to some cardio activity to increase your heart rate gradually. A slightly longer warm up in the winter ensures that you’re less likely to sustain an injury!
It is deceiving in the cold weather as sweat evaporates leading us to think and feel we are not losing fluid, but we are. Dehydration remains a risk even in the winter so continue to drink water adequately throughout the day. Recommended fluid intake is 2 litres in 24 hours.
You are less likely to lose heat through sweat in the winter and therefore heat does not dissipate easily. Food is required to generate heat and therefore consuming nutrient dense foods is important when exercising outdoors in the winter.
It goes without saying that resting is essential after any workout. Your body heals and repairs during your rest periods. The difference with working out outdoors in the winter is that your metabolism is increased ad therefore, along with all the other important points mentioned above, adequate rest is advised between workouts.
By Sandy S Pandya
L3 Reps Personal Trainer
Advanced Nurse Practitioner RGN. BSc. PG Diploma.