5 Ways to Make a Winter Workout More Effective Well, the weather is slowly turning into that time of the year when working out becomes a chore, running becomes a safety hazard , and maintaining a slim physique damn-near impossible. Yes, as the weather turns to grey, so does your motivation to work out and preserve a healthy eating habit diminish in response, but don’t worry, there are a few powerful ways to counteract this common problem. And no, it’s not about trying a crazy new fitness fad or changing up your diet to five smoothies a day, but rather it’s about staying consistent, fueling your body with the right kind of nutrients, and finding your winter workout groove. Here’s what you should do to make this winter your best fitness season yet. Get your heart rate up You might have been able to get away with a couple of warmup sets when it was all warm and toasty outside, but when the thermometer goes down to “as cold as your ex”, that means that you should spend more time warming up in order to prevent injury and boost your workouts . What’s more, warming up extensively with dynamic and plyometric movements will get the blood flowing through your entire body, and quite literally warm you up so that you can attack your workout with the intensity and drive that will deliver results. Fail to do this, and you’re not only looking at an ineffective training session, but you might end up pulling a muscle as well. Time to put on some serious muscle Wintertime is the ideal time for muscle gain, and contrary to popular belief, it’s an excellent time to tone your physique with lean mass and minimal fat gain. Now, there’s no way around it, building muscle will require an increased caloric intake, which will produce a bit of fat, but that’s nothing that you won’t be able to shed in the months to follow. Besides, it’s good to indulge in tasty foods once in a while. The colder weather is also ideal for pushing the intensity of your workouts to the max without the risk of overheating. Combined with proper nutrition, your workouts can produce some serious muscle growth that will keep you looking fit and feeling toasty despite the incessant cold. Prep your mind and body for the workout ahead Nutrition is a single part of the fitness puzzle. The second one is training itself, and the third crucial part is supplementation. During the dreary winter months in particular, supplements become an important tool every athlete should have in their arsenal, as can help you acquire the energy you need to push your limits in training. Pre-workout drinks and energy boosters are your best friends here, so consider bringing a professional gym supplement designed for this very purpose to your every training session in order to keep your energy levels high. The added benefit of pre-workout supplements is that they support blood flow to the working muscles, helping you prevent injuries during those tough workouts. Add outdoor training to your routine For most people, the cold weather is a cue to hide indoors and stick to well-heated workouts at the gym. But for you, the colder weather should be an invitation to take your fitness game to the next level by training in the great, chilly outdoors. The cold weather coupled with your layered attire and a thirst for intensity will create a killer fat-burning combination that is bound to get you the results you’re looking for. That said, it’s important to adhere to the proper safety rules when taking on winter outdoor training, so as to avoid nasty bumps, falls, and injuries. Be sure to wear proper footwear for traction, control, and stability when running and jumping. Next, stick to layered clothing that will prevent your body’s heat from escaping while keeping you as dry as possible. Tend to proper mobility training Last but not least, there is a need to emphasize mobility training and proper post-workout cool down during those long winter training sessions. In wintertime, it’s easy for your muscles and connective tissue to shorten and become more rigid as your body is trying to conserve heat and energy while preventing injuries. While your natural defense mechanism is amazing and all, this means that you should stretch and cool down adequately in order keep the blood flowing through your muscles, and your joints and ligaments mobile and nimble. You can start by decreasing the tempo of your workout as you’re nearing the end, and then move onto gradual cool down by jogging, walking, and finally coming to a full stop. After that, it’s ten minutes of mobility and flexibility training, and you’re all done! Winter workouts can be fun and rewarding, you know. All it takes is to develop a sound battle plan and stick to it until the temperatures rise once again to greet the warmer seasons once more. Follow these tips, and you will have built an effective winter training program you’re bound to love. About the Author: Luke Douglas is a fitness and health blogger at Ripped.me and a great fan of the gym and a healthy diet. He follows the trends in fitness, gym and healthy life and loves to share his knowledge through useful and informative articles. FB Twitter