Is it Safe to Exercise in the Cold?

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Many people tend to use the cold weather as an excuse to not workout. It is so much more appealing to sit on the couch by that nice warm fire instead of going out in freezing temperatures. I have done this many times myself but for many I think they have a legitimate excuse of just not knowing if it is ok to go outside to workout when the temperatures drop into the 20’s or below.

Here are some things that we want you to be aware of when exercising in the cold. If you take the proper precautions it is completely safe for you to exercise when the temperature get real cold.

Stay hydrated – This is a mistake that a lot of people make. We tend to not drink as much when it is colder outside so make sure you are hydrated before you go to workout. You will still sweat if you follow the next piece of advice about your clothing.

Make sure to wear layers – Wearing multiple layers is a great way to combat the cold weather. Start with the lowest layer (closest to your skin) as a dri-fit type material that is designed to get the moisture off your skin. Try to not do cotton as this will absorb the moisture which can cause some problems for you as you begin to sweat because it can freeze and cause you to become chilled. Also make sure your layers are easy to remove or add back on based on how warm or cold you are. When you exercise your body can make it seem like it is 30 degrees warmer than the actual temperature.

Protect your extremities – I grew up in Denver and I remember my mom always telling me that I lose the most heat from my head so I always had these awesome winter hats to wear. This is key if you are going to be exercising in the cold. Wear some type of protection for your head. Also make sure to wear some gloves on your hands so you do not develop any frostbite. Double up on socks can also be a good idea to help keep the feet warm.

Talk to your Doctor – If you have asthma or any other type of respiratory issues make sure to ask your Doctor if it is safe for you to be exercising in the cold. The cold can make certain types of respiratory issues more pronounced which can have a dramatic impact on your ability to exercise.

Understand when it is too cold – These tips will help you to be able to exercise in the cold but do remember that it can get to be too cold. One thing many people forget about is the windchill factor. make sure to take into account the windchill when you are outside. If this drops the temperature down below 10 degrees it might be time to think about staying on the couch by that nice fire!

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