Officially, winter doesn’t hit Paris for another month, but it’s already plenty cold outside. Since now is the time most people gain weight — the excess of food and eating-related activities skyrockets in November and December — it’s also the time to make a concerted effort to exercise.
But there’s good news!
Dr. Kevin Plancher of Plancher Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine in New York City says,
“Because your body has to work harder in the cold, your endorphin production is boosted even more, leading to a happier state of mind.”
That means that a winter workout will have more and better effects than a standard it’s-a-nice-day-isn’t-it kind of workout. More results for the same effort!
But, you still have to get out there, so here are some tips for keeping safe and warm while burning those holiday party calories.
Bundle up before you head outside! Put on a close-fitting under layer first, then add as needed. You need to stay warm until you really start moving. After you’ve gotten your heart rate up, you can peel off a layer or unzip a bit. And don’t forget to cover your head and ears. Heat rises in the atmosphere, but it also rises off your body through your head. If you tend to be cold, consider a fleece neck gaiter too.
Know Where You’re Going
Just like you laid out your gear the night before, know your route before you leave the house. You can visualize it, program it into your phone, or use an app like Strava to track it. The key is to eliminate reasons not go.
Don’t go directly from your home onto the street. If you live in an apartment building, run up and down the stairs to warm up. If you’re in a house, run in place near your front door for a few minutes. If the outside temperature is significantly lower than the temp you’re coming from, give yourself little breaks for the first 10 minutes, 30 seconds at a time, just to get your body acclimated.
Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate
Just ‘cause it’s cold doesn’t mean you shouldn’t drink water. You’ll be sweating even if it isn’t as noticeable as in the summer. Take a water bottle or know where the (working) fountains are in your local running/exercise spot. The secret is to look for the wet patch.
If you can’t be bothered with all of the above — or you’re genuinely horrified by having to go through it all — go for a swim at your local pool (not outside in a freezing body of water as in the pic above). Paris has a network of city pools that you can access for less than the price of a coffee. Info on locations, hours and rates is here.
If it’s all still too much…
Get in touch. As a personal trainer, my goal is to personalize the experience so you get the most out of your time. Call, email, text or hit me up on Facebook or Instagram. I’ll take care of the rest.