The weather has been cold, and that can make outdoor exercise sound a lot less appealing. Even if you’re used to running, walking, or exercising outside, making an adjustment to a winter workout after bariatric surgery can be a challenge.
As a bariatric surgery patient, there’s no reason to let chilly temperatures stand in the way of a great workout. With these winter exercise tips, you can stay healthy all winter long, no matter how frightful the weather outside might be.
Easy Winter Exercise Tips
Bariatric exercise is important for weight management, but in the winter months, it can be hard to get outside. These winter exercise tips are designed to give you ideas on how to effectively exercise during the winter months as a bariatric patient. Consider alternatives to your traditional routine, dress warmly to adjust to the cold, and stay focused on your goals.
1. Start Your Workout Facing the Wind
When it comes to winter exercise ideas, this may not immediately come to mind for most people, but it may potentially save you from getting too cold. The faster you move, the higher the wind-chill factor. This can become a significant problem when you’re working up a sweat in ice-cold temperatures.
If you make the return trip facing the wind while you’re sweaty, you’ll lose body heat by the second. By starting your walk, jog, or run facing the wind, the return trip will be that much more bearable, allowing you to finish the last stretch of your journey safely. It also helps to wear protective layers to keep yourself sufficiently warm.
2. Wear Bright Colors
Black tends to be the color of choice for the vast majority of workout apparel nowadays, but it turns out bright clothes may be better suited for outdoor exercise during the wintertime. Not only is the winter generally colder, but it’s also darker, which makes it tougher for others to see you if you’re jogging along the side of the road or walking down a trail.
Bright clothes make you more visible to others, which gives them plenty of time to provide you with a wide berth if needed. If you’re exercising in a scenario where low-visibility is a given – on an overcast day, for instance – it doesn’t hurt to invest in reflective gear or blinking lights.
Not only will this make you more visible to others, but it also increases your own visibility and reduces your chances of making a misstep and injuring yourself.
3. Let Your Body Cool Down and Change Out of Damp Workout Clothes
Knowing how to stay fit in winter involves understanding the fundamentals of taking care of your body after working out. One such fundamental is allowing your body to cool down when you’re finished, even if it’s freezing cold outside.
Cooldown exercises give your heart a chance to adjust to the sudden change in activity level. The best way to cool your body down is to gradually decrease the intensity of your exercise in the final 5 to 10 minutes of your session. Once your breathing and heart-rate have normalized, engage in warm-up exercises and static stretching.
At this point, you’ll likely be sweaty and tired. Quickly change out of your workout clothes to fight off the cold and take a warm shower, which should serve to both warm your body and relax your muscles.
4. Join a Gym
Joining a gym is a great way to stay fit in the winter. When the weather gets chilly, a gym is an ideal place to keep you motivated. If you already have a gym membership, the changing weather won’t be an issue for you. If you don’t, now is the time to join.
From exercise equipment to organized classes, working out at the gym is a great way to keep your energy up during your winter workout after bariatric surgery. Consider increasing the intensity of your workouts. Try a boot camp program or prolonged cardio to fight off winter’s chill.
5. Protect Your Extremities
Your body loses heat through your fingers, toes, ears, and nose first because blood is typically shunted to the core of the body, leaving your extremities to fend for themselves.
To keep your extremities nice and toasty during winter workout sessions, invest in proper workout attire – gloves or mittens for your hands, headbands and beanies for your head, and extra-thick socks for your toes.
You should also consider the design of your shoes while working out during the winter. Running shoes, for instance, are designed for increased airflow, which is great for letting heat escape, but not so great for keeping the cold out.
Consider purchasing shoe covers to remedy this issue. You can also purchase shoes specially designed for winter exercise.
6. Work Out at Home
With the rise in free workout apps, streaming content, and even YouTube classes, exercising at home is easier than ever. If you can’t afford a treadmill or stair-stepper, online resources can guide you through an awesome workout and help you stay active from the comfort of your living room.
Consider investing in a few equipment basics to make your exercise easier. A yoga mat, exercise ball, and some free weights are a great place to start.
7. Start With a Warm-Up
You should always start with a good old-fashioned warm-up to get your blood pumping before working out. This is especially the case when you’re preparing to workout in cold weather. By properly warming up, you can get your blood flowing and increase the temperature of your muscles, which reduces the chances of injury.
To warm up, include low-intensity movements that mimic your exercise routine. For example, lunges, squats, and arm swings are excellent warm-up exercises for runners. Speak with a personal trainer to seek more specified guidance for your exercise routine.
8. Bundle Up
A little cold never hurt anyone! Cold weather doesn’t mean the outside is off-limits. It means you need to plan accordingly.
Invest in thick socks, a hat or fleece headband, and thick running leggings. Pull-on a windbreaker, fleece pullover, or insulated vest. Even if you can’t walk or jog far, every bit of
Olde Del Mar Surgical Is Here to Support You!
Staying motivated to exercise when the weather takes a turn can require time and dedication. A positive attitude can be the difference between success and failure. And who knows? You may be surprised by how much you like a change to your exercise regimen!
Want to learn more about staying healthy after surgery, four seasons a year? Reach out to the friendly team at Olde Del Mar Surgical to schedule a consultation today to learn more.