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Eat Well for a Workout in Cold Weather

By Tom Herrin

For those who try to have somewhat regular workouts, shifting gears as the seasons change can pose a considerable challenge.  It is not so much in the workout itself but more in the preparation and how to handle it.  When temperatures are warm, it is pretty easy to run around in casual clothes and spend very little time or attention to other things.  People can simply get out there and be active every day.  As the temperatures become cooler, a little more attention must be paid in order to be as prepared as possible.  It may require a broader based plan.

Think in Terms of Layers

The lightweight clothing of summer is easy to manage.  When it comes time to think about the cold, it takes quite a bit more planning.  Starting out too cold can destroy motivation while starting out too warm can create fast burnout.  Layers must be carefully considered so that people can wear something that keeps them slightly cool at the beginning but can easily be removed as they become warmer.  If there is running or biking involved, they must also think about layers that they can carry with them as they go without it being bulky.

Vary the Routine Appropriately

In the colder weather, it can help to change up the workout routine so that it does not become stale.  It is easy to fall into rut and lose interest.  When people change their daily activities up frequently, they can feel that there is more challenge.  One day may be spent outdoors when it is tolerable, another may be spent on a treadmill or exercise bike.  Planning ahead can help to make this variety work.  Taking a look at weather forecasts may help to use those good days when possible while saving those indoor activities for those gloomy days.

Plan for the Right Kinds of Meals

Nutrition is important anytime.  When it is colder, it is even more critical to eat the things that will power your body sufficiently.  Every effort should be made to avoid unhealthy snacks.  Consuming plenty of good protein and vegetables can help to keep away the urge to snack.  When people have adequate vitamins and fibers, they will feel fuller.  Filling up on poor quality snacks can be a recipe for running out of energy fast.  I still try to eat light in the cold but make sure I take in some good protein.  In the worst case scenario, I still fall back on the old standard peanut butter and jelly on whole grain bread.  It seems to help me get through that workout with the right amount of energy.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Raleigh, N.C.

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