I’ve got to go away, but baby, it’s cold outside.
Yup, you feel like getting away but it seems like the cold won’t let you. Don’t let this be an excuse for you to go into hibernation mode. Even with the cold, you can still continue with your fitness routine – and even do some of your exercising outdoors.
Here are some ways for you to enjoy your outdoor winter workout:
Know your limits. Even though outdoor exercise in the cold can be bracing and exhilarating for some, there are certain health conditions that may be exacerbated by continuous exposure to the cold. So, before you start exercising and you have heart issues, asthma or other diseases that tend to flare up in winter, consult your doctor.
Plan ahead. For starters, check the weather forecast for the day of your workout. Take special note of the temperature, moisture and wind. This way, you know whether it is a good idea to do your workout outside or keep it in. The temperature and wind results in wind chill and extreme levels of wind chill substantially increase the occurrence of frostbite. When the wind chill is in the negative or when the cold is accompanied by rain, it’s best to keep the exercising indoors.
Use the right fabric. If you are wet, you will get cold faster. Your workout will still cause you to sweat, so look for fabric that prevents moisture from settling in. Cotton will not cut it. Choose a fabric that has moisture wicking properties.
Forget about layering. Yes, you read that right. You can dress in layers, and peel off or put back as needed. But with the Ravean jacket, you can keep yourself at a temperature that you are comfortable since it comes with controllable heating panels. Plus, this jacket is waterproof yet ultra-light, perfect for cold or wintry weather. What’s more, you can get the heated gloves that are connected to the jacket.
Protect your head, ears and feet. These extremities are most vulnerable to the cold, especially since exercise pulls the body’s heat toward your center. Be sure to wear a hat or a ski mask as a protection for your face and head. Wear a headband or a scarf to cover your ears. For your feet, it’s best to have an extra pair of exercise shoes that are a size larger than your actual foot size, preferably one that is water-resistant. Remember, you will be wearing thicker socks. Your toes will thank you for not letting them get squeezed in tight quarters during your run. Bring an extra pair of socks in case the pair you are wearing gets wet. Oh, and don’t forget your sunscreen and lip balm, as the winter sun bouncing off the snow can be brutal on the skin.
Drink up. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. Replace those electrolytes with sports drink or water. The winter wind can really be drying. Along with the heavy breathing and sweating, you may be dehydrated even when you are not feeling the thirst.
Exercise with a buddy. It’s best not to go at this alone. Have an exercise body with you, so you have each other’s backs. Be briefed about warning signs of frostbite and hypothermia such as tingling or numbness in the extremities, extreme shivering, slurred speech and loss of coordination. This can mean that you need to get yourself or your buddy at the hospital to get yourself checked.