Sticking to a workout schedule can be hard, especially when faced with exercise in the cold. The drier air is often harder to breathe, and in the cool your own sweat can give you a chill. Thankfully, much of Australia doesn’t get cold enough to worry about frostbite or hypothermia. Even better, there are a few reasons why working out in the cold can be very good for you.
Benefits of Cold Exercise
Proper warmup and cooldown is vital for any workout, but when you’re already in comfortable conditions, you may be tempted to skip straight to weights or cardio. Cold weather forces you to fully prepare your body to be warm, loose and limber, helping to prevent sprains, twists and tears. Cooling down after a workout is also important, reducing tightness in your muscles and joints.
Extra Calorie Burn
One great benefit of winter workouts is the increased calorie burn your body gets simply from working to keep you warm. While the benefit varies from person to person, it’s always a nice incentive to push just a little harder.
A Stronger Heart
Cold weather puts the heart under more stress to distribute blood around your body. For a regular exerciser with good cardiovascular endurance, this strengthens your heart to deal with more strenuous workouts in the future. Be warned, however: an unhealthy heart may struggle with the extra stress, potentially exacerbating illness and injury. If you’re unsure of your heart’s health, visit your doctor before trying any cold weather exercise.
Exercises for the Colder Weather
Full-body Winter Workout
This workout has 10 different exercises, with five levels of reps depending on your fitness. You can do the exercises in any order and combination, as long as you hit your target.
- Push-Ups – 20, 30, 40, 50 or 60
- Dumbbell Shoulder Press – 20, 30, 40, 50 or 60
- Deep Squats – 20, 30, 40, 50 or 60
- Swiss Ball Rollaways – 20, 30, 40, 50 or 60
- Bent Rows – 20, 30, 40, 50 or 60
- Full Burpee – 20, 30, 40, 50 or 60
- Skipping – 100, 200, 300, 400 or 500
- Step Downs – 30, 60, 90, 120 or 150
- Swiss Ball Hamstring Curl – 30, 40, 50, 60 or 70
- Swiss Ball Sit-Ups – 30, 40, 50, 60 or 70
30-Minute Bodyweight Workout
This workout is great year-round, but gets an extra kick from being in the cold. Not needing any equipment means you can easily duck back inside if the temperature drops too low. Perform all exercises for 12-15 reps per round, for three rounds.
- Tuck Jumps
- Tricep Dips
- Glute Bridges
- Jump Planks
Not only is ice skating great fun, it also tones up your legs, core, bum and stabiliser muscles while burning up to 500 calories per hour! Hit the rink alone or make a day of it with friends or your special someone.