Can’t face chilly workouts? Cold-weather exercise can be daunting. But you may warm to the idea once you know the benefits and how to dress for comfort. Moderate to vigorous workouts in frigid temperatures can help you prevent weight gain and boost your metabolism, mood, energy, concentration and immunity. And of course, help build up your tolerance to winter cold.

Look at the tips below to help get you ready!

  • Dress in layers to help maintain a healthy core temperature. Basically, start with a thin synthetic (not cotton) layer; then fleece or wool for insulation; and top with a waterproof, breathable outer layer. Experiment to find the best clothing based on your exercise intensity. And protect your head, hands, ears and feet.
  • Check the forecast. A combination of wind and freezing can penetrate even the most protective clothing. Be aware of how your body feels in deep cold. Opt for indoor workouts when temperatures drop below 0°F.
  • Give yourself a chance to adapt. The thought of venturing out when it’s dark and frigid can be daunting at first. But after a few workouts and, as you enjoy the post-exercise benefits, you may find it suits you well.
  • Some chronic health conditions, such as asthma or heart problems, may be aggravated by cold-weather exercise, so check with your health care provider first.

**Warning signs of overexposure to cold: Head indoors immediately if you notice pain, numbness, tingling or skin whitening (usually affecting the face, fingers or toes). Slowly warm the area without rubbing. Seek emergency aid if you have signs of hypothermia: intense shivering, slurred speech, loss of coordination and major fatigue.

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