Tips for Exercising in the Cold

Follow these tips to stay safe when it’s cold out.

1. Layer it on. The secret to exercising in cold weather is dressing properly, preferably in lightweight layers you can add or remove as needed and as weather conditions shift. A thermal layer next to your skin will wick moisture away. Add a wool layer for insulation, then one that resists wind and water, but “breathes” so that perspiration doesn’t build up. Clothes with zippers let you cool off during a workout as well as adjust to changes in the weather. A hat prevents loss of body heat through the top of your head. For warmth, mittens are better than gloves. On bitter, cold days, you should also cover up your face.

2. Drink plenty of fluids — you perspire exercising in the cold too. But don’t drink alcohol; it dilates your blood vessels, causing you to lose heat more rapidly.

3. Do your warmup, stretching, and cooldown inside. Start your workout facing into the wind so that you will work hardest when you are fresh and will avoid having it blow in your perspiring face and body on your return. Don’t stand around in your damp clothes afterward; go inside right away. Finally, when it’s icy underfoot, avoid the risk of a fall by working out indoors.

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