Winter Exercise – Staying Warm
It’s easy to find ways to exercise when it’s warm outside. You know how important is to exercise regularly. However, it’s not always easy to be active when the temperatures outdoors plummet. Learn how to stay warm when exercising in cold weather and you’ll be able to stay active all year long.
One way to stay active during colder months is to head to the gym. That is one option to consider but there’s no reason you can’t get outdoors to get your exercise. There are plenty of ways to stay warm while exercising in the crisp winter air.
When heading outside to exercise in cold weather you want to have several layers of clothing. Be sure to use fabrics which will wick the perspiration away from your skin closest to it. These would include silk, polyester, polypropylene and wool. You may think cotton would be the best choice, but it retains the moisture rather than moving it away from the skin.
Start out with thinner layers, then use a mid-weight layer and finish up with heavyweight fabrics. Choose how many layers and what thicknesses based on your expected activity level and the outside temperature.
Choose clothing which can be adapted while you’re exercising. Rather than taking clothing layers off you can wear jackets which you can unzip during your workout if you get too warm. Consider wearing a sweatshirt with a hood you can pull up when you need the extra warmth around your ears.
Your socks are as important as the rest of your clothing. Again, you may be tempted to use cotton socks but they will stay wet rather than wick the wetness away from your feet. If your feet remain damp, they’ll get cold and stay cold. Your best choice for socks is wool if you want your feet to stay warm and dry.
Be sure your hands and feet are warm and toasty before you go outdoors. You can do this by soaking them in hot water for a little while. When they’re suitably warm, remove them from the water, dry them well and then put your socks, shoes and gloves on.
Don’t forget about your head. Science has proven that your body loses the most heat from the head. You can always remove a hat if you get too hot.
Pay attention to the weather report prior to going outside to exercise. If the temperatures are very cold or there are strong winds, you might want to wait to go to the gym instead. Wind can greatly affect the ‘feels like’ temperatures.
If you’re a runner, try to start out heading into the wind. This will keep you from getting chilled on your way home. The wind will be at your back when your workout is over.
When you learn how to stay warm when exercising in cold weather, you’ll be motivated to continue. Remember to stay hydrated and get something warm to drink when you get home. You’re doing a great thing by exercising even during the colder months; keep up the good work!