Exercising outdoors is one of the best options for conditioning your body, as you have to endure the additional challenges of nature’s elements. But as the winter weather reaches its peak, exercising outdoors can become more of a challenge. While it’s fairly safe to exercise freely in warm weather, it takes a little more preparation to exercise when the air is frigid and cold. Exercising when it’s cold outside can be dangerous, causing mild physical reactions with some pretty serious consequences. If you are planning to exercise during this winter season, learn these 6 useful tips for training outdoors in cold weather.
Wear clothing that reduces humidity.
Have you ever worked out and been drenched in sweat and felt totally miserable the entire time and afterwards? Did you mainly use cotton materials? If the answer to any of those questions is yes, then you were experiencing the natural tendency of humidity to draw heat away from your body toward the lowest concentration of heat, which is the cold air outside. If you exercise with moisture on your skin, your risk of hypothermia greatly increases. To avoid this, try using materials that naturally absorb moisture, such as polyester, polypropylene, or nylon.
Layer your clothes
Wearing moisture-wicking clothing is the first step, but you can’t stop there to protect yourself from winter chills. Layer your clothes with a sweat-wicking base layer and then a midlayer for warmth, like a fleece or sweatshirt. Complete your layers with an outer layer to give you additional protection from the elements, such as wind or rain. This top layer can be a waterproof jacket or windbreaker.
Use brighter colors
Wearing all black may be trendy right now, but fashion isn’t the most important thing to consider when exercising outdoors. Safety should be your top priority while exercising, and the natural elements during winter weather are not always on your side. Because it gets dark earlier during the winter months, along with greater chances of rain or snow, it makes it even more difficult for motorists to see pedestrians than during the summer months. Brighter clothing will give drivers a better chance of spotting you in the elements.
bring a flashlight
Bright clothing is great for visibility, but flashlights are even better for distinguishing yourself in the dark. Flashlights are also a safety benefit for pedestrians, illuminating the path to prevent potential slips and falls. It can be bulky to carry a flashlight, which means you can also choose to use a portable flashlight.
Protect your hands, head and feet.
There’s nothing worse than starting to train and suddenly having frozen hands or ears. This happens quite often because the extremities are the first to cool down in the open air because blood circulates less to these areas than to the center of the body. This means you should protect body parts such as your hands, ears, nose, and toes to prevent possible frostbite and hypothermia. Try wearing items like super thick socks, mittens, earmuffs, headbands or hats, gloves, or even shoe covers.
Stay hydrated and moisturized.
Not only do you need to stay hydrated for general exercise, but you will also need additional hydration due to the dry nature of winter air. Winter weather can affect your skin by drying it out and causing cracking or peeling. Drink plenty of water and also apply plenty of body moisturizers and lip balms. You can also wear a mask to protect your skin from the harsh winter air while you exercise.