ORLANDO, Fla. – 'Tis the season to hit the gym for many who made resolutions to be healthier in 2019.
This resolution is notorious for being broken. Let’s face it, getting healthy can be hard. There are so many things that can divert the dedicated person off the road to healthy living. Food is a big one, but the weather? You bet.
Think about it. The morning alarm goes off or work ends and it’s pouring down rain outside. The last thing anyone wants to do is go into the gym sopping wet. Working out in the rain is probably not ideal either. Too hot, too cold -- the weather plays a role, in more ways than one.
“People will always seem to find an excuse to do less,” says certified personal strength and conditioning coach Adam Taylor of Clermont. “For those people with prior injuries, arthritis, etc., the cold or wet weather can have some effect on joint pain from day to day."
People have claimed to feel when the weather is changing in their bones for years. To some extent, it’s accurate. Pressure changes can make injured body parts ache or hurt. There are ways, however, to set yourself up for success, no matter the weather (except extreme weather events).
Working out in cold weather can actually help you burn more calories. Shivering helps keep the body warm, which burns extra fat to produce energy in order to stay warm. Although this doesn’t sound comfortable, it’s a little bonus, so to speak, until you warm up from exercise.
This doesn’t mean you should go exercise in freezing temperatures by any means, but if you choose to hit the pavement on a crisp day, there are ways to make it tolerable.
Taylor says “adequate clothing and skin coverage, and making sure your body is properly warmed up prior to exercise” is a better option to get in a good sweat session in winter. Plus, warming up before exercise will help with muscle soreness. Colder weather can cause muscles to feel sore more often than in warmer temperatures.
Another key is hydration. It’s just as important in winter weather as it is in the summer.
In Florida, summer can seem to last forever. The day-to-day heat keeps many indoors. In addition to the sun's blazing rays, Floridians have the added challenge of humidity.
Working out in the summer can leave the dedicated resolutionist drained, dreading the next time the gym or running trail calls. While most opt for air-conditioned gyms, those who work outdoors for a living may feel drained before even attempting to open the gym door after a hard day's work. There are ways to keep your healthy resolution going even in the dog days of summer, however.
Water. It’s a major key for not only staying hydrated, but it’s also a great way to get in a good workout.
Swimming is a great cardio blast, plus, how fun is it to pick out a swimming cap for a good water aerobics class? If swimming caps aren’t your thing then a good run or yoga class outdoors is another option.
“In the heat, you may be more likely to be able to sustain exercise for a longer period of time,” Taylor said.
He said that while planning outdoor exercise in the heat, not only should you drink water during exercise, but also the day before and every day to ensure you don’t get dehydrated. The heat makes your body work harder and the humidity makes it harder for your body to cool itself.
Having water on hand not only keeps you healthy but can keep you cool, too. A nice splash on the face followed by a small break in the shade can do wonders for your new, healthy lifestyle.