Turn Up the Heat on Your Cold Weather Workouts

My hope is that the cold weather is NOT putting a damper on your healthy workout routine. I have a saying, "There is no inappropriate weather, only inappropriate clothing." While this may be a stretch in a lightning storm, for the most part it is true. Another thing that my clients and I have discovered is that it is NEVER as bad as it may seem. Once you're warmed up, you'll forget it's raining, and with the right clothes (and attitude, you'll be warm).
 
With this message so near and dear to my heart, I was thrilled to see an exerpt from my book, "OUTDOOR FITNESS - Step out of the gym and into the best shape of your life" on the RealAge.com site, entitled "How to Heat Up Your Cold Weather Workouts." Have a look.
 
Walking in a winter wonderland these days? Make your lungs happy with this small equipment addition: a scarf.

Tina Vindum, author of Outdoor Fitness, recommends covering your mouth and nose with a scarf before heading out for cold-weather exercise. This simple piece of gear helps warm and moisturize air before it hits your tender lungs.

Cold-Weather Cardio
Besides being a shock to the system, cold, arid air can dry out and irritate bronchial passages. But if you wear a scarf or facemask over your mouth and nose, heat and water will be trapped in the material every time you breathe out. A good thing, because then that moisture and heat are available to warm and humidify your next breath on the way in. And that's much easier on your respiratory bits. (Find out which type of fruit can help improve lung function.)

Winter Workout Wear
Healthy cold-weather exercise requires some attention to wardrobe, too. The key, Vindum says, is layering. On your bottom-most layer, use lightweight, breathable fabrics that wick sweat and keep you dry. Your next layer should provide insulation -- leggings and a fleece top usually do the trick. On top, your coat or jacket should offer protection against wind, rain, and snow. To keep feet dry, choose socks made of a moisture-wicking material like wool or polypropylene.
 
Adapting to the Elements
The key to staying safe and having fun exercising outdoors year-round is to be aware of the obstacles and potential hazards that the elements pose—and to prepare yourself to avoid them. Read the rest of the article on the Athleta Chi blog.
 
Quick Tip: How to Avoid the Most Dangerous Part of a Winter Workout
Perhaps the most hazardous part of cold weather workout is post workout, when your body is cooling down. Problems with chilling can arise due to wet skin from perspiration, while the blood vessels in the skin continue to dilate to dissipate heat.  It is potentially dangerous because this is when the body feels warm and most people don’t feel the need to bundle up. If you are not heading home right away, always have a change of clothing available. The effects of chilling from wet clothing and wet skin come on rapidly and are difficult to abate without a hot shower or bath.

 

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