8 Tips for Cold Weather Workouts

This time of year, it is cold.  And this winter, we are experiencing colder than usual temperatures, so here are some tips to keep you comfortable during your workouts:

1. Dress in Layered Clothing. Several thin layers are warmer than one heavy layer. The goal is to keep the body warm and minimize shivering. You can do this by wearing layers that can easily be added or taken off easily.

2. Cover your Head. Heat loss from the head and neck may be as much as 50 percent of the total heat being lost by your body. Be sure to wear a hat and scarf, these are easy to add and remove as you warm up or cool down.

3. Cover your Mouth. To warm the air before you breathe it, use a scarf or mask. This may be especially important if you notice pain in your throat or chest when breathing in cold air.

4. Stay Dry. Using moisture wicking clothing, especially as the layer closest to your skin is very important in keeping you dry from perspiration.

5. Keep your Feet Dry. Again, you want your socks, the layer that is closest to your skin to keep you dry so your feet stay warm. Polypropylene, wool or other fabrics that wick moisture away from the skin and retain insulating properties keep the body warm when wet.

6. Stay Hydrated. Dehydration affects your body’s ability to regulate body heat and increases the risk of frostbite. Water, is as important in cold weather as in the heat. Avoid consuming alcohol or beverages containing caffeine, because these items are dehydrating.

7. Avoid Alcohol. Alcohol dilates blood vessels and increases heat loss so the odds of experiencing a hypothermic event increase.

8. Know your Limits. Everyone has their own idea of the perfect exercising weather.  You might love the summer heat that makes you sweat like you’re in a sauna. Your friend might still be wearing shorts when it’s 35 degrees outside.  When in doubt, do what’s best for your body. That way, you can be sure to focus on the exercises, not the weather.