Working out when it’s chilly



This chart simplifies deciding what to put on and what to leave at home.

Picture this: you’re sitting inside bundled in your warmest blanket and fuzziest socks, sipping hot cocoa. You haven’t gotten up from your ‘Stranger Things’ three hour binge watching session and it’s starting to get dark outside. It’s winter break, and you do not have basketball practice for another week. Contemplating going out for a run to stay in shape, you turn your head to your Nike’s and decide to give it a try. Next, you check the weather…45 degrees fahrenheit, and windy, “HA! If I wanted to make myself that miserable I would just go to school,” you declare.
The intense wintry conditions alone are enough to convince someone to lounge around indoors instead of working out. Going to the gym is an excellent way to avert the cold, but what should you do about winter track, baseball, or lacrosse conditioning? Experts have come up with various methods to determine what will bring you warmth and improve your game rather than waste your time.
Among the tested tactics, dressing warmly and warming up properly have proven to be the most efficient. Your outdoor clothing should consist of layers, starting with a base of synthetic workout material. Avoid cotton, which will stay wet next to your skin and is more likely to cause chafing. Cold weather still leaves our bodies very vulnerable to chafing, no matter what type of clothes you have on, so try reducing your risk by applying anti-chafing balm like Body Glide. Next, cover yourself in fleece or wool, topped with a layer of waterproof and breathable clothing, such as a rain jacket. When temperatures drop, blood flows to the body’s core, leaving our hands, head, and feet colder and more vulnerable to frostbite. Wear a thick pair of winter gloves or mittens over a thin pair of gloves. Cover your head in a hat that will not slip off or skew your vision in anyway, and if you want to go the extra mile, buy sneakers ½ size too large, allowing room for thermal socks. Products like HotHands and HotHands Toe Warmers are a toasty addition to slip in your gloves and shoes for maximum warmth.
Warm ups should have the same target goal as usual—preparing your muscles, heart and lungs for the work you are about to do. Experts suggest doubling your warm up time to increase muscle temperature. Perform drills that imitate the exercises you will be doing, starting out slower than usual since the cold increases the difficulty of getting your muscles to adapt.
Sanderson athlete, junior Maddie Trotter stated, “I play softball in the spring and have to go out in the freezing cold towards the beginning of the season, so it’s really enjoyable to play basketball in the warm indoors during the winter.” Trotter explains that the women’s basketball does all their practice and conditioning indoors to avoid the cold completely.
If you desire the fresh air and nature of outdoors over the heater of the indoors, follow the aforementioned suggestions and you are sure to have a strong winter sports season.