True or False: Debunking Common Myths About Cold Weather Workouts
When many people picture the cold fall and winter months, they often think up warm, cozy scenarios in their heads―Relaxing with a good book in front of the fireplace, curling up on the couch with a loved one for an all-night movie marathon, or anything else that keeps you inside, away from the blistering temperatures outside your door.
While we may just be at the very beginning of the cold-weather season, the rapidly plunging temperatures and chilling winds outside are enough to make anyone want to switch into hibernation mode. However, if you are looking to maintain your health and avoid the added pounds often associated with the holiday season, calling it quits on your active exercise routine is not an option―no matter how cold or snowy it may become.
Unfortunately, the less than favorable cold weather conditions are not the only thing keeping many people from exercising throughout fall and winter. The health and wellness industry is full of workout myths, many surrounding the idea that it is dangerous or unwise to exercise when it is cold outside. Luckily, many of these myths are widely off base and maintaining a consistent, year-round exercise program has many physical and psychological benefits.
To help you separate the truth from myth this fall season, we have uncovered the truth about some of the most common cold weather workout myths.
MYTH: You shouldn't work out in the cold.
FALSE! While you may try to use the fast-dropping temperature or frightening wind chill outside as an excuse as to why you should stay indoors and abandon your workout, these cold weather factors are not bad for your health―as long as you make sure to warm up first. Stretching or walking before you start out on an intense run can go a long way towards warming up your muscles and making sure that you are acclimating to the temperature. The best thing that you can do for your health during any chilly-weather exercise is to ease in slowly.
MYTH: We need extra time to sleep during the winter.
FALSE! When the days start to become shorter and we find ourselves waking up to a dark, gloomy sky outside, it can feel as though no amount of sleep is enough. However, just because you may feel more tired than normal does not mean that you should let yourself sleep in and abandon your morning workout. In fact, getting up and exercising will actually help to wake up your mind and body, while sleeping the morning away can actually make you feel more tired throughout the day.
MYTH: You should bundle up outside to prevent getting chilled.
FALSE! During the cold weather season, you should obviously never head outside in a t-shirt and workout shorts. However, you should also be sure to not bundle up with too many thick layers either. This is because you sweat heavily during workouts and, even with water-resistant clothing, you will still become easily saturated, causing the body to lose more heat. Instead, wear layers that can be easily stripped off once you start warming up.
While working out during the cold weather months may not be bad for your health or wellness plans, there are still some people who simply cannot brave the low temperatures. If you are someone who is looking for a way to keep up with your active weather routine without having to brave the winter weather outside, there are many ways to get a decent workout indoors.
The YMCA Dallas has many fitness classes starting this fall and winter that will help you challenge your cardiovascular and muscular systems, and also help keep away that dreaded holiday weight. Contact us today to sign up for a class and start working towards better health this season.