When we think about winter training, a vision of Sylvester Stallone in Rocky IV might come to mind: there’s nothing quite as iconic as the montage of Rocky Balboa pulling a sled and carting logs through the thick Russian snow as he prepares for his boxing bout against Ivan Drago.
The reality of winter training can be less glamorous than Hollywood has led us to believe, but only if one is underprepared! There is an old saying that goes, “There’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing.” As we move through December and into 2021, we are forecasted to have a warmer than average winter in Southern Ontario, but let’s face it: We still live in Canada. Below are a few tips and tricks that will keep you warm from head to toe, ready to embrace the elements and tackle your classes.
Probably the most important thing you can do when considering exercising outdoors is to layer and layer consciously. It’s important that your layering not only keeps you warm but also allows you to move well. The first thing we suggest is to purchase quality thermal leggings or pants and undershirts from established brands that have helped athletes to not only handle the elements but to enjoy working out outside.
When adding on clothes, remember to also layer in varying sizes (ie, do not layer tightly): By leaving some room or space between shirts (wearing a medium-sized base layer and a large Primal sweatshirt, for instance), the heat molecules are able to move around more freely, which will increase your contained temperature. Pro Tip: Dress as if it is 10 degrees warmer outside, or at least have the option to remove layers as you start to move around and get warmer. Keep in mind that once you stop training, you will cool down much quicker than in the summer months: be prepared with a change of dry clothes to put on as soon as you leave class.
Many of us know that heat escapes the body first or mostly through the tops of our heads. Therefore, it is essential to sport a toque and neck gaiter while winter training. Good news: Primal now has both of these in stock on our Online Store! If you’ve already worked with dumbbells, kettlebells and/or barbells outside this winter, you also know how cold steel can get. Both bulky ski gloves and grandma’s mittens are far too cumbersome, so we recommend runner’s gloves. These, coupled with infinity scarves, windbreakers and thick socks, which are also accessible and reasonably-priced pieces, can mean the difference between completing a workout successfully and catching a chill.
Our friends at Culture Athletics on Queen Street East, right here in Leslieville, also have many of these items in stock for purchase with delivery or in-store pickup options. #supportsmallbusinesses
#3 KEEP MOVING:
At the end of the day, nothing beats the cold like hard work! The only real way to raise your core temperature quickly and effectively is to get your body moving and your blood pumping. A proper warm-up is crucial to this process and to prepare your muscles for the workout ahead. Dynamic stretching is important before any workout, but especially one in colder temperatures. Check in with yourself during class as well: Are you moving consistently and optimally? Are you giving a 100% effort towards the class? If not, this could be the reason you’re in a losing battle with the cooler temperatures.
#4 EMBRACE THE COLD:
Is training in the cold dangerous? No, as long as you dress appropriately! Hockey players, cross-country skiers, and skaters thrive in the cold: Sports and exercising outside is not a new thing. There are a number of wellness professionals who swear by cold training and cold exposure because of the health benefits it provides. When dressing for winter training, know that once you get moving, your core temperature rises dramatically, especially if you’re bundled up. Avoid overheating by layering properly to help to regulate your body temperature.
Pro Tip: Come to class with a good attitude, prepared for the session ahead and give it all you’ve got. You might be surprised by how warm and energized you’ll feel by the end of it!
#5 TREAT YOURSELF:
In addition to a bottle of water, consider bringing a thermos full of your favourite, hot beverage to sip during and/or after your workout. Warm up from the inside, out! Pro Tip: Try one of these delicious hot protein shake recipes for a healthy, post-workout treat that will also help with recovery. Primal Nutrition’s got you covered for the protein: Ask your coach for more information!
If you’re one of our early risers, we’ve got you covered with free coffee, post-Bootcamp. If you attend our lunch or evening Bootcamps, hop over to our friends at Dundas and Carlaw for a bevvy of hot drinks to-go!
No matter your sport and no matter your level, if you’re interested in becoming a Primal Winter Warrior, we’d LOVE to have you! We’re currently offering a 21-Day Free Trial to all new members: This includes access to all classes, nutrition counselling and accountability coaching. It starts with you, so start today.