When the cold weather begins many of us take our running and other fitness routines indoors. But if you are one of the fearless who doesn't want cold weather interrupting their outdoor activities, here are some tips for you to stay warm while you exercise outside this winter.
- Start Slow. If you are new to exercise, this is especially important. Allow yourself time to adapt to exercising outdoors. For everyone, add a few more minutes to your warm up routine. This will enable your muscles to get ready for the work ahead and reduce your risk for injury.
- Try a Cup of Tea. Drinking a warm beverage before heading outside can help you feel warmer. Green tea is a powerful antioxidant that can benefit your exercise and your immune system in these colder months. The tea will also help you stay hydrated. Or consider this ginger tea recipe, which is both tasty and warming.
- Wear Warm Socks. We lose quite a bit of heat from our extremities and most shoes are well ventilated. If you've ever experienced cold toes while running, then you know how quickly that can end your workout. Choose a thicker sock or one with a wool blend to keep your feet from slowing you down.
- Protect Your Face & Airway. When temperatures get really cold, it is important to keep your ears and nose covered to prevent frostbite. Filtering your air with a scarf or ski mask over your mouth and nose will serve to warm the air and make breathing easier on the body.
- Switch to Mid-Day. Early morning or evenings are colder and present more hazards, like ice. Try getting out on your lunch break. This will give you a break from your desk and you may just find yourself with a bit more energy to make it through the afternoon.
- Layers. Multiple thin layers with wicking material will keep you dry and allow you to modify as you need. You should feel just a bit cool when leaving the house to ensure you don't feel overheated 10-15 minutes into your routine.
Keep your eye on weather conditions and remember that the gym is always there should you find yourself doubting the safety of your outdoor activity. Play smart and have fun this winter! – Dr. Jolene Brighten