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Top Reasons Why Cold Weather Exercise Beats Hot Weather Workouts

By Kristi Molinaro | January 13, 2012 7:05am

MANHATTAN — Bundle up! This week, the Fitness Insider is taking it outside.

In the warmer months, it's common to see people bicycling on the West Side Highway, running beside the East River or doing outside boot camps in Central Park.

But even when the temperatures start to plunge, there are plenty of reasons why exercising outside in the cold is better for you than working out in the warm.

In the cold, you burn more calories because the body uses more energy to generate heat. And because you sweat so much less than you would on a hot, humid day, you are much less likely to become dehydrated.

Plus, you can work out much harder in chilly temperatures than in hot ones — heat taxes the body so much more and the dangers of working out in excessive heat outweigh the benefits.

Make sure you dress in layers, because you will warm up pretty quickly. And don’t forget gloves and a warm hat.

Here's what to do:

1. Brisk Walk — As soon as you get out of your apartment, you are going to want to pick up the pace to warm up your body.  When muscles are cold they are more easily strained, so it is very important to warm up the body as quickly as possible.

2. Light Jog — When you feel warmed up, try to either go to a speed walk or a light jog.  If this is challenging, speed walk or jog for one block and switch to a slower walk for the next, alternating back and forth until you get to your destination.

3. Push-ups — Look for the nearest bench or step and place your gloved hands palms-down in a wide position for 20 push-ups. These push-ups will be easier than pushups on the ground.

4. Tap-ups — If the bench seems sturdy enough, step up with your left foot and bring your right foot to tap the bench.  Then tap back down and repeat.  Do this as quickly as possible for 35 quick taps.

5. Push-ups — Place your hands back on the bench for 15 pushups.

6. Tap-ups — Place your right foot on the bench and tap your left foot up for 35 quick taps
Triceps dips — Have a seat on the bench and place your hands so that they are close to your hips. Push the heels of your hands into the bench and straighten your arms so that your hips lift off the bench and move slightly forward.  Then bend your elbows so that your hips dip below the bench and your arms form a 90 degree angle and straighten back up.  Repeat this 35 times quickly.

7. Squats — Face away from the bench and sit back so your hips brush the bench and stand back up, with or without a little jump as you come up.  Make sure to keep your knees behind your toes as you sit back.  Repeat this 35 times.

8. Triceps dips — Do another set of triceps dips, repeating 25 times.

9. Squats — Do another set of squats, repeating 25 times.

10. Teaser pose — Have a seat on the bench and balance on your tailbone with your legs in the air straight or bent. Hold for a count of 20.

11. Brisk walk/jog home — Head home with a brisk walk or jog, making sure to replace some of your layers if you are starting to get chilly.