Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Tip Tuesday: Exercising Outdoor During Winter

With the winter months upon us it's easy to begin to hibernate. But as most of you know I am going to try to do my best not to do that this year, and I am trying to enjoy the great outdoors even though the temperatures are less than not my favorite! 

Don't let the cold weather scare you. Aside from snow and ice that can place obstacles in your stride it's perfectly okay to exercise outdoors during winter. Exercising outdoors in the colder weather can be refreshing, exhilarating, and is of course a cooler alternative to those of you who get overheated in the summer. Follow these few tips from on how to keep warm and enjoy the fresh winter air. 

1. You want to make sure you are warm enough or you will want to run straight back inside! It's all about layering. This list tells which layers, starting from the bottom most layer, you should be wearing. 
-A thin, possibly moisture wicking, base layer in the form of a long sleeve shirt. 
-A mid weight middle layer shirt that 's a bit thicker than your base layer. 
-Your top layer can be a fleece jacket that you might normally wear in the fall or spring. Or you could use a windbreaker. You don't want to add too much bulk to this layer as it will restrict your movement and may make you too hot while exercising. 
-For pants you can wear something like cold-weather compression leggings. If not wear a thin pair of long underwear or regular cotton leggings and a pair of running or sweat pants over them. 
-Wear warm enough socks that go well above your ankle. 
-Be sure to keep your head, neck, and hands warm with a good insulating hat, neck warmer or scarf, and gloves. I have found that an infinity scarf works best when jogging as it has no loose ends to keep flopping around. If you are running you may want to shed a could of these things as your body warms up. 
-Be sure you have proper footwear to keep your feet dry and only run on surfaces that you are comfortable with. 

2. Start with warmed up muscles. Muscles may feel cold and tight after exercising outdoors. Be sure to do a few stretches and warm up exercises in a warm environment to start out with good blood flow. 

3. It's important to warm yourself up after you've exercised outdoors. Get out of your possibly wet and sweaty layers quickly after coming indoors. Drink a warm beverage to bring your body temperature back up if you are still chilled from the cold. 

4. If it is windy outdoors be sure to head out away from the wind first. Start out your workout with the wind at your back and let yourself get warmed up. If you need to head back into the wind the breeze could feel good on your warmed up body. 

Leave me comments on your outdoor exercising adventures. Any extra tips are greatly appreciated.