When winter blows in, you can pull the blankets over your head and go back to sleep—or you can suit up and head out for an outdoor winter adventure!
There is no reason you need to take a break from physical activity when the temperature drops. In fact, exercising in cooler weather has some distinct advantages over working out in warmer weather.
Tips to Keep in Mind
- No heat and humidity to deal with. Winter’s chill might make you feel awake and invigorated.
- You may be able to work out longer in cold weather—which means you can burn even more calories.
- It’s a great way to take in the sunlight (in small doses). Not only can light improve many people’s moods, it also helps you get some vitamin D.
- Exercise boosts your immunity during cold and flu season.
Staying warm and dry when heading out to exercise in cold weather is all about layers. A little preparation can keep you safe from cold weather hazards like hypothermia and frostbite.
Cold temperatures, strong winds and damp conditions (like rain and snow) steal your body heat. For example, according to the National Weather Station, a 30-degree day with 30-mile-an-hour winds feels like about 15 degrees. And if you get wet (from rain, snow or perspiration) that effect is only magnified. That is why layers of clothing are so important. They help trap the heat and form a kind of insulation against the elements.
Resist your instincts to start layering with cotton. Once cotton becomes wet with sweat or snow, the moisture is trapped and will actually make you feel colder (and heavier). For your first layer, you want something that pulls moisture away from your skin, like moisture-wicking fabrics used in high-performance sportswear. Next, add a layer of fleece, finally, top with a thin waterproof layer. Remember to stay hydrated – don’t forget to drink water when exercising in cooler weather. Thirst isn’t the best indicator that you need to drink.