Don’t Let the Cold Weather Hold You Back: Exercise Tips For Chilly Conditions
We have had one of the coldest winters in recent memory. And although staying in for a few snow days might be a welcomed break, after a little while cabin fever sets in, not to mention achy joints and tired muscles due to lack of activity. Don’t let a long cold winter put a damper in your exercise routine. Here are some tips for exercising in cold weather.
— Start slow and gradually speed up: If you are a runner, it is always advisable to warm up. But especially in low temperature it becomes crucial to do so to prevent cramps or more serious muscle strains or tears. Start with a 5-10 minutes brisk walk and transition gradually into a running pace. Our tissues are less elastic in low temperature; a sudden move is more likely to result in injury. So warm up to get the blood flowing and generate heat so muscles and tendon become more flexible.
— Dress in layers: the age old advice, but must be included for good measure. Make sure that the fabric in the inner layer of clothing breathes and does not trap moisture. Cotton is not a good choice; wear a thin synthetic fabric such as polypropelyne. Don’t forget hat, gloves and good socks. A large amount of heat escapes through the head and hands and feet. Perhaps a scarf also might be useful if excessive cold irritates your airway and triggers coughing.
—Hydrate: Of course we still sweat even if it is cold outside and must replenish lost fluids. You might opt for a warm drink, which in this case, serves the double purpose of heating and hydration.
—Exercise indoor: If you like to walk and find it too cold to go out, you can try walking in a museum, a mall, or of course head to the gym. However, there is added benefit to spending time outdoors, which research shows, improves mood and help our body synthesize vitamin D.
Lastly don’t forget your sunscreen and a positive spirit.