It’s that time of the year again when we experience both cool mornings and evenings. It won’t be long before it gets super hot again but there are actually perks to it. For one, it makes you want to cuddle if you have someone to snuggle up with, or binge-watch movies with a blanket on if you’re not as lucky.
But as lazy as the cooler days are making us, it’s actually a great time to get sweat sessions in. “It’s beneficial because we’re able to store body heat longer that we would during exercise at 35-degrees Celsius weather and up,” explains Emman Papa, assistant professor at the UP College of Human Kinetics.
Because you’re not overheating too quickly as you exercise, you have the chance to keep going longer—helping you burn more calories and get closer to your macho self. Of course, like anything fitness-related, you need to take the right methods to get your body in prime shape during cooler days. Follow these steps to keep sweating even if it’s slightly sweater weather.
1) Be cool
The weather might be chilly (especially if you’re in mountainous areas) but knowing how it can benefit you can ease your worries. “The cold is your warm friend and exposing your body the right way can lead to health benefits including buildup of brown adipose tissue and succeeding fat loss, reduced inflammation, a better immune system, and improved sleep quality,” explains Mark Limbaga, an Original Strength and Strongfirst-certified kettlebell and bodyweight coach and head coach at The Gravity Chamber in Quezon City.
So don’t be afraid of putting in work despite a little chilly weather. Just remember to...
2) Wear the right clothes
While you won’t overheat quickly, you can’t wear the same type of clothes you would on a hot summer day. You’ll end up shivering, especially if the temperature is north of 20 degrees Celsius. If you feel the need to, layer up. Just make sure whatever you wear allows you to move and is composed of layers that you can easily take off once you feel it’s too hot.
3) Take the time to warmup
Fitness experts reiterate warmups as your muscles need to be primed for the numerous movements you’ll do during exercise. When the weather is cooler, you need to adjust your warmup routine. “Because of colder weather, mas matagal o deliberate dapat ang warmup,” advises Papa.
During static stretches, hold the stretch a bit longer. In dynamic warmups, do a couple more reps than usual. Some light jogging to get some sweat going is also good. Your body will thank you later once you’re done; skip this advice and you might find yourself in pain.
4) Breathe easy
“Minsan pag sobrang lamig, nahihirapan din tayong huminga, which often leads to a dip in performance,” says Papa. Since you want to keep your sweat sessions beneficial, make sure you’re breathing well all throughout. Breathe in through the nose, and exhale slowly using your mouth. If you feel it’s getting a bit too much, stop. Rest until you’re comfortable to go again.
If you’re in high altitude areas like Baguio, start from a slightly slower pace from what you normally do as it’s hard to exercise because of thinner air. Working with what’s comfortable for you allows you to keep carrying on despite the circumstances.
5) Explore and experiment
The thing with training in colder weather is that you can tweak your workouts depending on how you feel. Paraphrasing Tim Anderson, one of the founders of Orginal Strength, Limbaga says, “You are your own chef so explore and experiment with your routine in cold weather.”
Limbaga regularly trains boxers in Baguio City, and usually, they make their sessions lighter when it’s colder. Start slow, and if you feel the need to run or lift more, push it. Just remember, you’re working based on your own fitness level, not anyone else’s.