Cold Weather Exercising: Stay Safe

By Healthy Beauty on Sunday, December 9, 2012 9:29 AM

As it’s getting colder, it’s harder to get out there and be active. Here are 5 tips to keep in mind when exercising in the cold weather!

1)  Is it safe?

First off, if you have any breathing or heart problems, you should double check with your doctor to see if it’s safe to be exercising in the cold weather. Overworking yourself in such conditions could lead you to danger.

2)  Wear “shed-able” layers!

When exercising, your body usually tends to feel warmer than it actually is. You generate lots of sweat, but as soon as your sweat dries, you feel a little chilly. How can you fix this? Shed-able layers! Remove them and put them back on as necessary.

First layer: (closest to your body) should be a synthetic material that will draw sweat away from your body

Second layer: fleece or wool, this will keep your body insulated

Third layer: waterproof and breathable,  (ie. a light raincoat)

Optional: a scarf that can slightly warm the air before it enters your lungs

3)  TLC for your hands, feet and ears
While exercising, the majority of blood in your body flows towards the core. This leaves your hands, feet and ears with less blood and a higher level of vulnerability to frostbite. They need to have extra “tender loving care”! Wear wool or fleece gloves, thicker wool socks in your shoes, and a hat or head piece for your ears.

4)  Gear up
Be sure to choose the appropriate gear for your exercises. If it’s dark outside wear reflective clothing or stickers to ensure that you are visible to everyone. When it’s icy or snowy, your shoes should have enough traction with the pavement to prevent falls and slips. You could even carry a small heat pack for quick warming of your hands and feet when necessary!

5)  Keep track of wind chill and weather conditions
Even though you dress in layers and do all of the above, it’s difficult to stay warm and dry in pouring rain. When you get soaked from the rain and the wind is penetrating through your clothes, your core temperature may not be able to retain itself. In this dangerous case, you may have to revert to indoor exercising.

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