Winter is an awesome time to lose weight! By just standing outside, your body must work extra hard to maintain its normal body temperature. The cold raises the body's basal metabolic rate (BMR) or the work the body does to make the heart beat, breathe and maintain its temperature.
The secret to winter fitness is that while your body is covered in cozy, oversized sweaters on the outside, on the inside you are burning calories like crazy to stay warm. Winter is when you will make great strides in your health.
If you enjoy exercising outdoors, you absolutely should continue to do so. But you must plan and prepare in order to stay active and healthy all winter.
Here are some recommendations for a great body this winter:
1. Stay Hydrated. Even though it's cold and you may not "break a sweat," schedule frequent water breaks. The drier cold air in winter is responsible for an increased water loss through breathing. Unless you drink more water, you will become dehydrated.
2. Slather on Sunscreen. Wait is this an article about summer? Although we associate drinking water and applying sunscreen as a summer must, we must also remember this during winter. Reflected ultraviolet rays combined with harsh, dry wind burn the sensitive face.
3. Put off shaving (for men only). Wait until after you exercise to shave, since hair and skin oils provide natural protection for the chin and neck.
4. Moisturize daily. Apply moisturizer to damp skin after you shower. Moisture will be sandwiched into your skin providing you with a protective barrier from the cold, dry air.
5. 5-minute showers. Limit baths and showers to five minutes using tepid water. Wash with a non-deodorant, moisturizing soap.
6. Dress as if it is the previous month. By dressing for November in December, you insure you are dressed appropriately. You want to wear as little as possible so you exercise in comfort. When you first venture out, it may feel a bit chilly. Once you get moving, you will be warm and toasty.
7. 3 Layers. Unfortunately, this does not refer to a devil food's cake, but rather a way of dressing that will keep you warm. Instead of wearing one or two pieces of bulky clothing, try three thin layers. Next to your skin, wear a material to wick moisture away such as polypropylene or polyester that work better than natural fibers like wool or cotton which get damp with sweat. The middle layer provides the primary insulation-- good choices include a sweatshirt or comfortable sweater. A light outer layer will provide shelter from the windy and rainy elements.
8. Fleece on your head. Windblock fleece is an excellent material for hats and headbands, because it allows moisture to evaporate while keeping the wind away. Finish your outer gear with a hat, mittens and eye protection. They can easily be stashed in a pocket when no longer needed.
9. Stretch indoors. Whenever feasible, warm-up inside with 5-10 minutes of cardio and stretching to exercise safely with to lower your incidence of injury, such as muscle strains.
10. There are no "shoulds" in the planet. Remember that it's your life. If it is too awful to go outside, don't make it another "should". There's plenty to do inside. It's your life. Have fun!
About the Author:
Helene Haber is a Holistic Life Coach. She works with her clients using holistic empowerment techniques. Ms. Haber offers complimentary health histories and may be reached at TopCatHelene@aol.com.
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