Workout Wednesday: Cold Weather Edition

It’s hard to believe we’re gearing up for what could be a Nor’easter here in the New York area just one week after Sandy left our shores. While I pray today’s storm ends up being less severe than predicted,  there’s no escaping the fact that the colder temperatures of November are here to stay.

Now that I’ve broken out the winter coat, gloves and other warm, woolly items, I thought it was a good time for some important reminders on how to safely stick with your outdoor exercise routine as we head into a cold finish for 2011:

  • Dress In Layers: Start with a thin layer of synthetic material (e.g. Under Armour or Nike DriFIT clothing) closest to the skin. Avoid wearing cotton as it takes longer to dry and the wet feel can give you a chill.  Add a layer of fleece or wool and last but not least, finish off your outfit with a waterproof outer-layer.
  • Protect Your Hands, Feet & Ears: My hands and feet are cold even on the hottest days of the year, so they’re especially vulnerable to wind chills and icy temperatures. So, in colder weather, I’ll often wear a thin pair of gloves under a pair of heavier ones, or even a pair of mittens. I know some people who have a “winter” pair of running or walking shoes that are up to one size bigger so they can wear thicker thermal socks or two pairs of regular ones. Finally, I’m a big fan of the wrap-around ear warmers or fleece headbands to keep the biting wind from wreaking havoc on my ears.
  • Don’t Forget the Sunscreen: If you’ve ever gotten a nasty sunburn from skiing, you know the sun is just as strong in the cold-weather months as it is in the summertime. Remember to put on the SPF 30 before heading outdoors and don’t forget the SPF-infused lip balm, too.
  • Stay Hydrated:  We hear lots of warnings about becoming dehydrated in the heat,  but you can become dehydrated just as easily in the cold. Be sure to drink plenty of fluids before, during and after your workout. (Here’s a refresher on why water is so important.)
  • Special Populations: While most people can exercise safely in the cold weather, if you have a heart condition or suffer from asthma, be sure to check with your physician before starting a cold-weather exercise routine.

The good news is you don’t have to pack away your motivation to exercise with the bathing suit and beach towels. Using a little common sense and having the right gear will allow you to continue your love affair with the great outdoors through November and beyond so you can have fun, be fit and feel fabulous!

About LauraLovesFitness

After spending more than 10 years in the communications industry, this lifetime fitness lover and newly certified fitness professional wants to share my passion for health and well-being with others.

Posted on November 7, 2012, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. Thanks for the clothing tip, I’ve never worked out in the cold and would like still to go out for a jog every once in a while. One thing I don’t like is breathing in the icy air…have you tried those ski-mask thingys when you’re working out in the cold?

    • Hi Jennifer,
      Sorry for the late response! Glad to help with some cold weather-workout ideas. As to the breathing in the icy air, I agree that’s another problem when it comes to comfort. I haven’t personally worked out with a ski mask of sorts – but I know they do make ones made out of moisture-wicking material and I also see people wearing neck warmers that they pull up over their mouths, as well. If you end up getting one that works for you, I’d love to hear about it! I’m planning to continue my outdoor Saturday workouts in Central Park as long as it’s not unbearable, so I’ll let you know if I find any other items that help. Have a great day!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: