Well the weather outside is frightful… but don’t let that deter you from your winter workout routine! It’s important that when the weather gets cold and frosty you take the time to properly warm up your body before jumping into your training. Warm-ups can help improve performance and reduce risk of injury1, especially when the weather is cold and your muscles feel tighter than normal.
Some helpful tips for warming yourself up before starting your workout include:
- Bring your warmup and workout routine into the gym! Staying indoors will help keep your core body temperature at a higher level than if you were to go on an outdoor run. (Find an LA Fitness near you, here!)
- A quick 15-minute run on the treadmill or warmup on the bike.
- Jumping jacks.
- Dynamic stretches such as walking lunges, leg swings and arm circles (read more about the benefits of stretching here).
- Take a dip in our 25-meter heated lap pools, or get your body feeling nice and relaxed in one of our relaxing saunas.*
- Squats, squats and more squats. The burn of that exercise sticks around all year.
- Walking. Simply taking a walk around the gym, your home, or a track can help warm up your muscles by getting them moving. Add in upper body stretches while you’re walking
Andrea Fradkin, an associate professor of exercise science at Bloomsburg University in Pennsylvania, suggests that for every 10°F drop below 30°F you extend your pre-workout warmup by five minutes.2 While not all regions experience extreme drops in temperatures, it’s important to keep in mind that even a slight drop in temperature can still be a shock when your body isn’t used to it.
Did You Know?
According to Gerald Endress, an exercise physiologist and fitness director at the Duke University Diet and Fitness Center, the ideal temperature for working out is between 68 and 72 degrees Fahrenheit.3 However, personal preferences may impact this.
How to Dress
It may go without being said that cold weather calls for warmer clothes. Even though you may be gearing up for a sweaty workout, be sure to dress in layers so you can remove the extra clothing when your temperature rises, and then add it back on when your core body temperature cools. If you’re opting for an outdoor workout, consider wearing protective gear for your face, ears, hands and feet. When dressing in layers, try wearing a synthetic material, something that will wick away moisture from your skin.4 The second layer should help insulate, think a fleece or wool layer, and the third layer should be a breathable/waterproof material (depending on outdoor conditions). Use your best judgment contingent on the weather, and take into account whether you are working out indoors or outdoors.
To find an LA Fitness near you, click here, and avoid the outdoor chill.
*Amenities vary by location.
- O’Mara, Kelly. “The Art of Warming Up in Cold Weather | MapMyRun.” Under Armour, 8 Aug. 2017, blog.mapmyrun.com/art-warming-cold-weather/.
- George, Shannon. “Is It Better to Workout in the Cold or Hot?” LIVESTRONG.COM, Leaf Group, 11 Sept. 2017, www.livestrong.com/article/423074-is-it-better-to-workout-in-the-cold-or-hot/.
- Schwecherl, Laura. “When Is It Too Cold to Exercise Outside?” Greatist, Greatist, 6 June 2016, greatist.com/fitness/it-safe-exercise-cold.