While exercising outside during the summer, the heat can be unbearable at times, and winter weather has its own unique challenges. It may not get Minnesota cold in the Hill Country, but shorter, chillier days mixed with icy rain can certainly zap workout motivation.
Here are some ways you can stay fit and active during the colder months and what you need to know about outdoor exercising in winter weather.
Explore Hill Country Trails
If you find yourself sharing your favorite trail with a few more hikers than you’d like during the spring and fall, consider visiting during the winter months when trails tend to be a lot less crowded.
Milton Reimers Ranch is ideal for both winter hiking and mountain biking as it includes over 18 miles of trails and is only about a 15-minute drive from Dripping Springs.
Charro Ranch Park is another excellent option for some local winter outdoor exercise. This 64-acre park is managed by the city of Dripping Springs and is perfect for a quick lunch break walk with an easy 1-mile loop.
Now, if you’re looking for some trails that will put a pair of new trail shoes to the test, head over to Pedernales Falls State Park. The park includes 7 different trails, with some as short as just a quarter mile and others as lengthy as 9 miles, covering some stunning Texas terrain.
Plan and Dress Accordingly
When it comes to exercising outdoors during the winter months, planning ahead is a must. Check the weather forecast beforehand and be sure you have the proper clothes on before heading out.
For active exercise like running or biking, opt to wear layers that can be taken off and added back later. This will help you to more comfortably — and safely — balance rising body temperatures with the cold air temperatures.
To accomplish this, go with a moisture-wicking material closest to your skin, followed by a second insulating layer, such as wool or polyester fleece. If there’s a chance of rain or snow, a third layer should be something light that is both wind and water-repellent.
Take Exercise Inside
As enjoyable as a trail run can be, sometimes it’s just preferable to shun the cold and opt for an indoor workout. Of course, dragging yourself out of bed on those extra chilly mornings can often be a challenge.
If you know you’re going to be getting up early, program your indoor thermostat to kick the heat on a half hour before you get up to make things a little toastier.
And if you struggle to stay motivated during early morning winter workouts, consider working out with a buddy who can hold you accountable for meeting up at the gym at a certain time.
If exercising outdoors or running on a treadmill isn’t your thing, consider joining a gym with an indoor pool. Swimming laps in a heated pool may just be the perfect remedy to any winter exercise blues.