Don't Freeze: Cold Weather Exercise Tips
Preparation can go a long way when you exercise in frigid temperatures.
- Wear the Right Clothes – Clothing is important. Although putting on that sweatshirt sounds like a good idea, cotton clothing does not insulate nearly as well as man-made fabrics such as polyester or polypropylene.
- Wear Multiple Layers – Wear a base material that is going to wick away any moisture from your skin. Your second layer should consist of fleece or wool for primary insulation. Your third layer should be chosen for its ability to ward off the elements. A jacket that is both lightweight and artificial would work.
- Accessorize – Remember we are dressing for warmth. Your head, feet and hands can all be susceptible to the cold. The head gives off a large amount of heat. Wear a hat or a headband to trap escaping heat. Your feet get cold first so wear warm socks and correct shoes to protect them. While your hands are vulnerable to the cold, gloves or mittens will decrease exposure from the outdoors
- Don't Overdo It – Exercising in cold temperatures is a stress on your body. So when you are exercising, it is easy for an average work out to become overly taxing when you are in the cold.
- Drink Up – Hydration is obvious during hot summer months, but also it is important in cold temperatures. When you see your breath…that is moisture leaving your body. Be sure to drink plenty of water when the air outside is cold and dry.
- Stretch – Make sure your muscles are nice and warm before you work out to avoid injury. This is even more important in cold temperatures.
Remember if the temperatures are especially low, it is probably too cold to exercise outside. If you do go outside, remember these tips for your safety.