It's easy to retreat to the gym all winter long. But if you're courageous enough to exercise outdoors, you'll end up with a better body. This is because, when you exercise in temperatures below 64 degrees, you increase the number of calories you burn.
Ready to brave the elements? Here are six tricks for exercising outdoors in winter:
1. Check the weather
Double-check the forecast for the windchill and chance of rain. While 40 degrees might not seem that cold, when you add wind and rain, it can feel way more frigid, requiring extra layers.
2. Dress in layers
Instead of wearing your heaviest jacket, it's better to wear several thin layers. Not only will you trap and warm the air between each layer, but you can fine-tune your comfort level as you warm up by peeling off layers. The outer layer should repel wind and precipitation. Stick with sweat-wicking fabrics for your inner layers.
3. Spice it up
Eat cayenne pepper an hour before your workout. It'll warm you up and boost your metabolism. More specifically, the capsaicin found in the chile peppers increases your internal body temperature slightly.
4. Wear a hat
Heat loss through the head is about 10 percent of total body heat. That's why you should always wear a hat outdoors in the wintertime. In fact, any area that is exposed is going to lose heat, so you should also wear a neck gaiter, scarf, and gloves.
5. Bring a thermos
Fill your thermos with water that's hot-coffee temperature. Holding the bottle in your hands will warm them up, and drinking the heated water will help maintain your internal temperature.
6. Strip quickly
Be sure to remove your sweaty clothes as soon as possible after your workout. This is because sweat underneath your workout clothes will cause you to become cold at a way faster rate.
Enjoy the great outdoors year-round
There's no need to ditch your morning runs or weekend hikes as soon as winter arrives. Instead, be sure to dress for the weather. Dress in layers, make sure your body is completely covered and quench your thirst with warm water. Remember, too, that you burn way more calories exercising outdoors in winter than you do in summer.