Living in Hawaii, I’ve sort of forgotten what Winter is all about. With the temperature and humidity pretty constant year-round; Winter training is pretty much a non-issue. But I grew up and spent many years in the Northeast where Winter training is an issue.
And the cold weather will soon be upon – you – as you that live anywhere other than here. Cuz there ain’t no such thing here, brah!
Dont’ hate me.
Which was why I was really pleasantly surprised when Lisa emailed me her guest post. It was about training in cold weather. How opportune.
Tips for Exercising in Cold Weather
It’s the time of year again that the leaves are starting to fall from the trees and the weather is starting to turn cooler. Soon, the air will be frigid and it will be impossible to go outside without a heavy coat or scarf.
Some athletes may dread cool weather, thinking it means that they will be stuck inside on a treadmill for the next several months. However, you can still get outside and exercise so long as you take the right precautions.
Here are a few tips for exercising in cold weather so you can stay safe and fit:
Dress in Layers
While you may be tempted to bulk up with a heavy sweater and thermal underwear when you head out for your workout, you’ll likely regret the choice once you’re at the end of your routine. You’ll start your workout feeling very cold, but once you get moving, you’ll be very hot.
Dress in layers to accommodate both the cold weather and your workout. Wear shirts that are easy to remove or jackets that can easily be unzipped.
Cover Your Head and Face
A hat and protective gear for your face, such as a scarf or even a ski mask, are essential when you exercise in cold weather. These are vulnerable parts of your body, yet they don’t always feel cold, making it hard to realize how much exposure they’ve gotten.
You lose a lot of heat through your head, so wearing a hat can help your whole body to stay warmer. The tender skin on your face is vulnerable to frostbite and chill, so covering up is important.
Wear Moisture-Wicking Clothing
Feeling the burn may be just what you need when you’re out in the elements and would otherwise be shivering in your boots. However, working up a sweat also means that you’re covering yourself in moisture — in the cold. Imagine taking a shower and running outside into the cold? Doesn’t sound too appealing, does it? You’ll feel the same if you’re wearing clothes that are drenched in sweat.
Choose materials that draw sweat away from the body so that you don’t end up wrapped in pounds of wet clothing.
Wear Reflective Gear
Cold weather often means snow, and working out in the snow can present many dangers. One of them is not being seen by drivers on roads that already have dangerous conditions. Make sure that drivers see you well in advance of their approach by wearing reflective clothing or gear. If you are riding a bike, make sure you have reflectors on your clothing and your bike.
You may not feel as thirsty without the hot sun beating down on your shoulders, but your body becomes just as dehydrated when working out in the cold weather. Make sure you stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water before, during and after your workout. Follow the same guidelines for drinking water as you would for a workout in the hot summer heat.
The cold weather brings a lot of challenges for your workout routine: Do you workout in the cold or confine yourself to the dreary gym? If you want to get out to see the scenery, you can certainly workout in the cold weather by following these precautions.
What other safety measures do you follow when working out in the cold? Share your tips in the comments!
Lisa Shoreland is currently a resident blogger at Go college, where recently she’s been researching grants for nursing students. In her spare time, she enjoys creative writing and hogging her boyfriend’s PlayStation 3. To keep her sanity she enjoys practicing martial arts and bringing home abandon animals.
By the Way
Tom wrote this interesting article, “Does Winter Weather Make You Fatter?” In it, he talks about and answers the question, “Do you get fatter more easily in cold weather?” As always, Tom writes with great clarify and detail. A good read, click to here and learn.