How to train outdoors in winter

How to train outdoors in winter

Get moving outside this winter! Here are some ideas to inspire you to go outdoors for a different kind of workout.

Benefits of being outside in winter

It is a well-known and recognized fact that there are many benefits to outdoor activity in winter besides rosy cheeks and looking good:

  • Strengthened immune system
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Brain stimulation for a positive effect on alertness, memory, concentration and cognitive abilities
  • Cold causes the body to expend more energy
  • A feeling of physical and psychological well-being

What’s more, exercising outdoors during the day allows you to enjoy the winter sun and replenish your body’s vitamin D levels.

To stay in shape

1. Running

Running outdoors is a better alternative than a treadmill. You are free to go wherever you want and can enjoy the view while running in the great outdoors.
Running gives you an opportunity to discover new neighbourhoods and explore their hidden jewels: restaurants, shops, etc.

2. Fatbike or bike with oversized tires

Are you a fan of spinning? Try a fatbike! It’s a great cardio workout that will push you to the limit and give you hours of endless fun…

Why not rent all the required equipment – bike, helmet – to give it a try before buying your own.

3. Combine walking and strength training

Do you want to work on your strength training? Put a series of exercises together and head outside to a park, a schoolyard… wherever!

Integrate the urban landscape into your workout. Use a bench, low wall, railing, building wall, streetlight in your exercise routine or use the outdoor fitness equipment located in some parks.

Choose a place you deem appropriate and head out on an adventure. Change your location regularly to break up the monotony and keep it interesting.

You don’t need sophisticated equipment to tone and strengthen your muscles: your own body weight is enough in most cases.

On the menu:

  • Squats or lunges to strengthen your legs.
  • Push-ups to work on your upper body.
  • Arm pumps to challenge your triceps.
  • Pull-ups and chin-ups to work wonders on your back and arm muscles and strengthen your abdominals.

Do you like using resistance bands? Bring some along.

You could also use a pulley system you attach to a tree for suspension training (TRX).

Be creative: the possibilities are endless.

To stay the course

Group effect

Worried the winter cold might discourage you all too soon? Form a virtual training group with friends or colleagues, write down everyone's goals and appoint a stats manager to keep track of weekly performances.

You could reward or highlight the achievement of weekly goals or a great performance in a new activity.

You can create different categories (parent-child) and compete in pairs.

Get creative and remember to have fun!

Layering

You will need to wear appropriate clothing for outdoor training.

You can obviously wear something that’s already in your closet. But… if the budget allows, you may want to get some comfortable training gear and enjoy your outdoor adventure to the max!

Experts recommend wearing several layers: you can remove a layer if you get too warm or add another layer if the mercury drops.

And if you decide to go running, make sure you have the right footwear for winter conditions.