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Warm Up to Winter Workouts

Be a super-fit snow angel with the right gear and a little smart planning.
woman stretching legs beside a tree Warm It Up First

When Old Man Winter rears his ugly, icy head, warming up is even more crucial. Your body needs extra time to prepare for the frigid temps ahead, says Pete McCall, an exercise physiologist with the American Council on Exercise. "During the first six to 10 minutes of your workout, your respiratory and cardiovascular systems haven't caught up to your muscles yet," he explains. "A warm-up enables your lungs to start oxygenating your blood with the nutrients your muscles require." McCall suggests a 10-minute warm-up, starting indoors with some stretching, squats, and multidirectional lunges. Then head outside for a brisk walk, progressing to a slow jog. When stretching, pay extra attention to your calves—they're further away from your core, so they have less circulation and will be working differently to handle slippery sidewalks or slushy snow.