Burrrrr! It beginning to get cold outside and most people's motivation to be active and workout goes away. I know I can convince myself that all the other tasks I have to do seem more inviting then stepping out of my warm house. Don't let the cold keep you from meeting those goals, keeping your stress down or having some you time. Here are some tips for cold weather exercising.

Make sure you warm up your muscles completely. Many of us just skip the warmup and jump right in. Have you ever tried to pull or stretch some laffy taffy or gum when it's cold? SNAP!! It rips or tears. If you heat it up with movement in your hands, it will stretch and be flexible. Your muscles do the same thing. Make sure you are spending 5-10 minutes moving all your muscles not just your legs.

My favorite warmup moves: jumping jacks, lunges with torso rotation, and high knees

Outdoor exercise in the cold can cause your lungs to feel like they are burning. Some people even suffer from athletic induced asthma. Work to breath in through your nose and out your mouth. This will give the air more time to warm before reaching your lungs. Another great option is wearing a mask such as a balaclava.

Wear warm clothing. Once we a warm we want to keep warm. Look for items that are "dry fit" or wicking. They will pull the moister away from you and keep your temperature constant. This is also a great excuses to go shopping!!

Bottom line, don't let the cold weather be a reason to not reach your goals. You can even get your workout indoors by doing jump roping, burpees or squat jumps. Better yet take this winter to try something new. Find some classes you have thought or heard about. Yoga, Zumba, crossfit, or hire a personal trainer. You can strengthen your body and mind while having a great time.

Rebecca Bordelon, CPT

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