7 Winter Fitness Tips from our Fitness Instructors
Fitness Tip #1
Build an aerobic base. You can do this however you like (swimming, biking, running, or walking). Skiing and Snowboarding is so much fun you want to be able to be on the hill all day. Start with 3-5 days a week for 20 minutes and begin to add 5 minutes to each day every week.
Fitness Tip #2
Once you have an aerobic base you can add interval training. Choose your cardio method and warm up, then go hard for two minutes and recover at an easy pace for two minutes. Repeat this for five or six sets and then cool down. Adjust the interval and rest times. These times should mimic the time spent coming down the mountain and the recovery time riding the chair up.
Fitness Tip #3
Lower body strength is another important fitness aspect for a vacation in the mountains. Perform 10-12 bodyweight squats two to three times and 10-12 bodyweight lunges two or three times during your cardio training recovery days. Focus on achieving a full range of motion and increase the difficulty by performing exercises on an unstable surface, like a BOSU ball, or by performing exercises on one leg.
Fitness Tip #4
Wear Layers and dress flexibly- Always start with a base layer that hugs the body to help keep in heat, yet doesn’t restrict your movement (i.e.- spandex tops/bottoms). When you walk outside it is best if you feel slightly cool. You should not be wearing so many layers that you are sweating, but you should also not be so cold that you start your workout shivering. As you begin your workout you should start to sweat at which point you can remove extra layers. Once you finish your workout you should replace any of the layers you removed during your workout or move indoors quickly to prevent getting a chill.
Fitness Tip #5
Protect the extremities- As you move farther from the heart, circulation becomes more difficult. This is why extremities such as the fingers and toes are so susceptible to conditions such as frostbite. Gloves and socks should be worn to help protect these extremities and prevent frostbite. Though it is a popular myth that most of your heat is lost through your head, you still lose as much as 20-30% of your heat this way which is why a hat should be worn in cold temperatures as well.
Fitness Tip #6
Hydrate- Your chances of becoming dehydrated in the winter are greater than during warmer months. Thirst mechanisms in the body respond differently to the cold than to the heat so you may not “feel” as thirsty in the winter. However, you are still losing fluids during your winter workout whether it’s from normal bodily processes, sweating, or even when you can see your breath on a cold day. Therefore it is important to sip water before, during, and after every workout.
Fitness Tip #7
Use appropriate gear- During the winter months it gets darker earlier and the ground is more susceptible to being slippery due to freezing rain, snow, and ice. Therefore it is important to wear bright colors or reflective gear after dusk. You should also make sure you have sturdy shoes with good treads to help keep you stable and from slipping.