Baby, it’s cold outside! But that’s not a good excuse to abandon your exercise routine. You can shift your workouts inside, but if you must be active in the great outdoors, follow these tips to keep moving even when the mercury drops.
Layer Up. Dress in multiple layers, with a thin layer of wicking material closest to your body. Avoid cotton in all layers, since it once it gets wet it stays that way. Your outer layer should be lightweight, waterproof and easy to take off if needed. Layer your socks too, with a very thin sock topped by a thicker one, and again, no cotton. If it’s truly frigid out, wear a scarf or turtleneck that you can pull up over your mouth. It will warm the air you breath and prevent “lung burn.”
Be Skin Smart. Just because it’s cold doesn’t mean you can’t get sunburned. Even if it’s cloudy, you’re still being exposed to UV rays. Remember to wear sunscreen of SPF 30 or higher, and protect your pucker with a sunscreen lip balm too.
On the Edge. Protect your extremities. To keep your organs nice and warm, your body will pull blood away from your hands, feet and ears. Your ears can be highly sensitive to the cold and especially wind. Use a fleece headband or even old-school earmuffs if you don’t want to wear a full hat. Although a hat might be a good idea since at least 50 percent of your body heat is lost through the top of your head. You also need to wear gloves to avoid skin damage on your hands.
Stay Hydrated. You won’t feel as hot during or after your outdoor winter workout, and therefore, might not feel as thirsty, but you do still need plenty of water, so keep drinking.
Light It Up. The days are shorter but try to avoid exercising outside in the dark. For one thing, it’s even colder. Plus, it’s not as safe. If you must be up before dawn or out after dusk, make sure you wear reflective clothing and always be aware of your surroundings.