How to Make it Fun, Rewarding, and COOL!
So, it’s dipping in the 40s tonight, is that a reason to put outdoor exercising on freeze? Well, with the right preparation, the answer is: No. Here are few recommendations to consider for a fun and safe cold-weather workout:
Did you know that you can lose as much as 50% of the body heat through the head(1)? The biggest concern for exercising in the cold is hypothermia, or too much heat loss. So always dress properly. A good rule-of-thumb to remember is
this: Keep air IN and water OUT. A layer of trapped air close to body will help keep the body warm. Where as water close to the body (like sweat) will conduct heat away from the body, thus causing rapid heat loss. A good layout would consist of the following layers: The first layer should be a thin layer of any material that would wick the sweat away from the body (synthetic materials like polypropylene is a good start) Avoid cotton, as it would stay wet and trap sweat next to your skin, this would cause the body to accelerate heat loss. Next layer should be a fleece for insulation. You may also add a water proof breathable outer layer depending on the forecast. Avoid heavy jackets as this would most likely cause the body to overheat. Next: wear a hat that can cover your ears. So heat loss is at minimum.
Protect hands, and feet:
Last thing you want to have on your cold-morning run is a frostbite. Wear thermal gloves and thick socks.
Put the right gear on:
Wear reflective clothing if running at night.
Check the weather forecast:
Pay attention to the projected temperature and wind. It might be 45 degrees outside, but with 20 mph winds, it will feel like 30 degrees.
Don’t forget sunscreen:
You can get sunburned in winter just as fast as you would in summer. So remember to put on a 15 SPF (or higher) sunscreen and don’t forget lip balm with sunscreen protection.
So, go a head and put on those sneakers (and your gloves, hat and scarf) Go out and reap the many benefits of outdoor exercising.
Happy Healthy Transformation!
Rami S. Aboumahadi
Personal Trainer and Founder of the Total Transformation Challenge Program.