Oh, the weather outside is frightful…

10 Nov

Winter blah-HA!

The winter blahs, cabin fever, being cooped-up.  I know you know what I’m talking about. It’s that time of the year when you have to transition from being active outdoors comfortably, to indoor activities.  Well, I’m here to show you that you don’t need to be afraid to take your exercise routine outdoors even in the winter months.   With a few simple things in mind, you can enjoy outdoor exercise all year-round.  Conducting a Google search produced the following information, at the Mayo Clinic website. I’ve used a few excerpts in this blog post, but it’s available in it’s entirety here:  http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/fitness/HQ01681

It’s all in the layers

“Dressing in layers is the key. One of the biggest mistakes you can make while exercising in cold weather is to dress too warmly. Exercise generates a considerable amount of heat — enough to make you feel like it’s much warmer than it really is. You should dress in layers that you can remove as soon as you start to sweat and then put back on as needed. First, put on a thin layer of synthetic material, such as polypropylene, which draws sweat away from your body. Avoid cotton, which stays wet next to your skin. Next, add a layer of fleece or wool for insulation. Top this with a waterproof, breathable outer layer. A heavy down jacket or vest may cause you to overheat if you’re exercising hard.’

Cold Hands, Warm Heart

The next step is to protect your hands and feet. According to the Mayo Clinic website, “When it’s cold, blood flow is concentrated on your body’s core, leaving your hands and feet vulnerable to frostbite. Try wearing a thin pair of gloves under a pair of heavier gloves or mittens lined with wool or fleece. Put on the mittens or gloves before your hands become cold and then remove them if your hands begin to sweat.”

Sunny with a chance of-WIND

Lastly,  paying attention to the forecast can help you stay safe and warm while exercising outdoors in cold weather. According to the Mayo Clinic, “Exercising when it’s cold and raining can make you more vulnerable to the cold. If you get soaked, you may not be able to keep your core body temperature high enough, and layering won’t help if your clothes are wet. If it’s extremely cold, you may need to take your exercise indoors or skip it for a day or two. Wind chill extremes can make exercising outdoors unsafe even if you dress warmly. The wind can penetrate your clothes and remove the insulating layer of warm air that surrounds your body, and any exposed skin is vulnerable to frostbite.  If the temperature dips well below 0 F (-17.8 C) or the wind chill is extreme, consider taking a break or choosing an indoor activity instead, or take extra precautions if you choose to exercise outdoors anyway.”

Now, armed with this information you are all ready to stroll around the Greenway, or take a walk around Lion’s park, or take a hike in Curt Gowdy State Park on the next sunny winter day, right?


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