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October 28, 2020
As the weather grows colder, there’s no need to stop exercising outdoors – as long as you’re prepared for it!
Many of the steps you take when working out in warmer weather are the same ones to consider with a cold-weather workout, such as hydration and nutrition. See below for more cold-weather exercise tips.
- Dress in Layers – Dress in layers that you can remove and then put back on as needed. Exercise generates heat, so when you start to sweat it feels much hotter than it is outside. But when sweat evaporates, it takes heat with it, so the body cools down quickly. You’ll want items that are easy to carry or tie around your waist for quick accessibility when you start to cool down again.
- Cover Head and Hands – According to Mayo Clinic, when it’s cold outside, blood flow is concentrated in the body’s core, leaving your head, hands and feet at an increased risk of frostbite. Wear a pair of gloves and a head covering of some sort. As your workout progresses and you start to feel warm, it’s better to take off layers that cover your core body first.
- Stay Dry – Wet, damp clothing significantly increases heat loss. Use a fabric that is moisture-wicking and has insulation properties, such as, wool and polypropylene.
- Stay Hydrated – Fluid intake, especially water, is just as important in the winter months as it is in the summer months. Even if you don’t feel thirsty or aren’t sweating much, you could still be losing water through breathing and sweating. Dehydration affects the body’s ability to regulate body heat, increasing the risk of frostbite.
- Minimize Alcohol Consumption – Alcohol dilates the blood vessels and increases heat loss, making it not ideal to drink when you’re approaching a cold-weather workout. Alcohol is also very dehydrating.
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