Srinagar: Do you work out in harsh winter? Working out in the winters has always remained a debatable topic but health experts suggest lifting weights or doing other exercises can be done if proper care is taken.
Here are the five tips that one needs to follow if you want to exercise or lift weights during the winters.
Avoid morning workouts
Mornings in Kashmir witness below zero temperatures and exercising in the afternoons is a better option. It is true that several people prefer early morning workouts. However, doctors even advise not to move out at all in the wee hours especially for the elderly.
“Stay indoors, stay warm. Coldest temperature is at predawn & dawn time, avoid moving out that time, especially elderly, hypertensive persons,” suggests Prof Dr Mohammad Salim Khan, head of the department of community medicine at Government Medical College, Srinagar.
Do extra-long warm-ups
If you are young and still want to work out in the mornings, make sure you warm up your body properly before lifting weights. Also, make sure that you are training in a warm room. Even if you are working out in the afternoon, make sure to do a warm-up for at least 10 minutes.
It has often been noted that many gym-goers skip the warm-up before lifting weights. While some start lifting weights straight away, others go for a very brief warm-up. A proper warm-up not only loosens your muscles and prevents injuries, it will also keep you warm and enable you to exercise better. A proper warm-up is also good for your heart health.
Wear warm clothes
Winter is not the time to show off your muscles in skin-tight tee-shirts especially if you are working out in a gym that is not air-conditioned. Youngsters often get carried away and can be seen working out in tees in freezing cold. Even if you are sweating, keep yourself properly covered. Do not forget to wear your fleeced uppers and lowers while working out. And yes, covering up does not mean working out in thick jackets. A layer or two of warm clothing is enough during the workout. However, keep yourself covered with a thick jacket and also cover your head properly once you leave the gym as the temperature outside can be several notches colder. Keep yourself adequately warm depending on the minimum temperatures during the workout.
Stay warm between the lifts
Taking a rest in between the sets is the right way of lifting weights. However, make sure that the rests are brief. Some gym-goers start chatting in between the sets and in winters, taking long rests in between the sets can cool down your body abruptly. In case you do a lot of circuit-style workouts, where you keep your heart rate up between exercises, this will not be an issue for you. However, if you do exercises the traditional way that require a good bit of rest between sets, make sure the rest period is brief.
Listen to your lungs
It’s winter and the air is cold. Cold air can make it hard to breathe. If your breathing feels too labored, slow down or take a break. Experts say cold air can cause airways to narrow or spasm and make it harder to breathe. However, it won’t permanently damage your lungs. Since everyone reacts differently, make sure your breathing gets back to normal soon. In case you are not young, listen more carefully to your lungs.