Cold weather exercising

January 9, 2008 6:17:02 PM PST
When the weather turns cold or snowy, it can be challenging to maintain the motivation to exercise. You can stay focused on your exercise goals by exploring new exercise options and dressing appropriately for outdoor activities. Cold weather may mean you need to modify your usual activities, so it's a good time to experiment with new forms of exercise. Outdoor activities to try include cross-country or downhill skiing, skating, or brisk walking in the snow. Just being outdoors on crisp, cool, blue-sky days can be spiritually uplifting. Indoor activities can usually be continued year-around, but why not that the opportunity to try a new class or exercise machine? Also, using exercise videos at home can be a good option on days when you can't get out.

Proper dressing is essential for outdoor activities in the cold, to avoid hypothermia and frostbite. The three best tips are:

  • Layer clothes. The clothes next to your skin should wick away moisture, and outer layers should protect from wind and cold.
  • Cover your head. As much as 50% of the body's heat loss in the cold is from the head and neck, so wear a protective hat.
  • Protect your hands. Mittens provide more warmth than gloves.

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