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3 Tips for Exercising in a Colder Climate Than You’re Used To

winter snowWhen the weather turns cold outside, you can still exercise outdoors; you just have to be smart about it. Cold weather exercising brings with it some considerations not found in warm weather, such as footing, breathing in cold air and dressing in layers 2487.

Footing

Running, jogging or even walking on ice and snow can be a recipe for an injury due to slipping and/or falling. Broken arms, legs, cuts and bruises are all too common with winter exearcising. Try to select a trail or path that is relatively free of snow and ice. One of the worst surfaces is snow on top of ice, because you don’t realize the ice under the snow. Snow itself is less slippery if there is not ice under it. Choose a pair of shoes with good traction (not a slick sole) and a pair of moisture-wicking socks 2490.

Breathing in Cold Air

If you are susceptible to respiratory issues, such as asthma or bronchitis, breathing in cold air can trigger an attack. Exercise during the mid-day when the temperature will be the warmest and wear a scarf over your nose and mouth. If really cold, choose to exercise indoors 2491.

Dress in Layers

Dressing for cold weather exercising is kind of tricky. When first starting out, you want to have on enough clothes to keep from getting cold, but as you exercise and your body generates heat, you can start sweating and get overheated, if wearing too many clothes. Of course worse yet, once you stop exercising, you can get shivering cold really fast from being wet with sweat and even suffer hypothermia. 2051

However by dressing layers, you can take off/put on clothes according to your body temperature. Wear a base layer of a good moisture-wicking dry weave-type apparel to keep your skin as dry as possible. Your outer layer should be wind/water resistant, but yet able to let your body moisture out such as Gortex®. The layer in-between is the transfer layer moving the moisture from your base layer to the outside layer where it can evaporate. Don’t forget to include gloves for your hands and a stocking cap for your head. 2532

Keep an eye on the weather forecast when contemplating exercising outdoors, especially the wind. Cold temperatures combined with wind creates wind chill, making the temperature much colder that what the thermometer reads, thus increasing your chances of suffering a cold-related injury. 2531

By following a few simple rules, exercising in cold weather can be safe and enjoyable. Just be smart and use common sense. 2178