There have been countless moments in my life in which I have wondered who decided to make swimming a winter sport. Most of these thoughts have taken place while speed-walking to my car on a cold December/January/February night as my hair literally freezes to ice. Every year, I inevitably myself sniffling and coughing just a few weeks into winter. Here are some seemingly obvious, but important ways to keep warm and avoid sickness this winter season.
1 – Hats
Yes, hats can be totally inconvenient at times, but is it worth freezing? Buy a cute winter hat with pom poms or the insignia of your favorite sports team, so you’re more likely to actually wear it. You’ll be surprised by how much of a difference keeping your head warm actually makes-especially with soaking wet hair.
2 – Cover Up
I’m probably not the only girl that loves wearing yoga pants with sneakers to workout. However- that bare skin from the bottom of your pants to the top of those short athletic socks can make all the difference. EVEN if you have a dryland workout and need sneakers for practice, bring a pair of warm boots. It’s extremely important to keep your feet cozy, and even a small bit of skin exposed to the cold can give you the chills.
3 – Tie your hair up
Girls- if you have long hair, letting it cling to your neck when it’s wet will make you freeze. After practice, try wringing it out as thoroughly as possible and putting it in a high bun so that it will be easier for you to stay warm and dry.
4 – Rinse off
Odds are, getting out of the pool feels just as chilly as when you first jump in. If possible, take a minute to rinse off in a hot shower to preserve the heat before you take on the winter chill. Preserve the heat by grabbing a towel as quickly as possible.
5 – Invest in a heated blanket
I don’t know about anyone else, but when I get home from practice at night all I can think of is bed, food, and warm. One of the best purchases I’ve ever made (not joking) was my heated blanket. It takes 5 minutes to warm up- a stark contrast from the 20 degree weather. Crawling under it after a long practice is the best feeling.
6 – Wear your parka
Ahhh, parkas. One of man’s most beautiful creations. Yes, these are awesome to wear on the pool deck, but they could also serve as effective winter jackets. Their insulation and long length will keep the heat in- and the cold out.