5 Tips for Successful Winter Weather Exercise

While cuddling around a fireplace or TV with a cup of hot cocoa may seem tempting when the temperature†drops during the winter, exercising in the crisp, cool air can be good for you. An article in Womenís Healthquotes Kevin Plancher, M.D., head of Plancher Orthopedics & Sports Medicine in New York City, who noted, “Öbecause your body has to work harder in the cold, your endorphin production is boosted even more, leading to a happier state of mind.” Before you head out into the cold, there are some things you should know:

Wear Layered Clothing

Resist the urge to simply ďbulk upĒ with heavy cotton. You may be cold when you first start exercising, but youíll heat up fast after a few minutes, so wear layered clothing. The first layer touching your skin should be a lightweight synthetic or polyester material. It will draw away moisture and dry quickly. Add a second layer of wool or polyester fleece, followed by a lightweight, water-repellent jacket. And keep your outerwear handy for when you stop to rest. If you have to, tie your jacket around your waist if you get too hot. Itís surprising how quickly your body cools down in cold or snow. Check out Lifehackerís cold weather clothing guide (halfway down their web page).

Wear Proper Gloves, Shoes and a Hat

Keep hands and feet warm with gloves and shoes designed for cold or snow weather. This is important because your body will draw blood away from your hands and feet to keep your internal organs warm. Proper shoes and gloves will prevent skin damage and frostbite in sub-zero temperatures. (The first sign of frostbite is numbness, followed by a tingling or burning sensation.) Do wear a hat or cold-weather beanie to prevent heat loss from your head. And make sure to cover your ears to keep them from frostbite.

Warm Up Before You Work Out

Donít just run outside the minute you get dressed. Get your body used to the idea of physical exercise before you shock your system with cold air. A WebMed article quoted Richard Cotton, PhD, an exercise physiologist and spokesman for the American Council on Exercise, who noted, “Take five to 10 minutes and do some low level aerobic exercise like jogging in place or doing jumping jacks. That way, when you step outside, you’ll already be warm.”

Jog or Brisk Walk with a Buddy

Start with a brisk walk. If you feel the urge and have the energy, continue with a heady jog. Doing this with a buddy is best, especially if youíre old or not used to exercising in inclement weather. Besides being safer, the miles will go a lot faster and easier with a buddy. If you canít find a buddy to go with you, walk or jog in a nearby circular track or route. That way, if you need to stop, youíll never be far from home.

Snow Hiking, Skiing, SnowBoarding, Snowshoeing

These are more vigorous exercises that work the abs, glutes and thighs. They also build stamina and burn lots of calories. Take a buddy along for safety. A hybrid of running and cross-country skiing, snowshoeing is becoming one of fastest growing winter sports. You donít have to be a pro and you can work at your own intensity level.

The Mayo Clinic advises all participants of active winter sports to drink water or sports drinks before, during and after a workout. Sweating, breathing, and increased urine production can rob you of fluids in the cold as well as in summerís heat.

 

92 comments

Stephanie s
Stephanie Yabout a year ago

Thank you

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Stephanie s
Stephanie Yabout a year ago

Thank you

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Stephanie s
Stephanie Yabout a year ago

Thank you

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Stephanie s
Stephanie Yabout a year ago

Thank you

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William C
William Cabout a year ago

Thank you.

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W. C
W. Cabout a year ago

Thanks.

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Sonia M

Good advices thanks for sharing

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Ellie M
Ellie M1 years ago

ty

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Philip Mcnabb
Past Member 4 years ago

Thanks for the tips, appreciated..

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Jason Adams
Past Member 4 years ago

Thanks for the tips....Best time for exercise

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