Just because the mercury’s dropping outside doesn’t mean you have to head indoors to stay active. You can still get a great workout outdoors. Check with your doctor, especially if you have asthma or cardiovascular disease, before starting any exercise program. Once you get the go ahead, here are some tips to help you stay motivated, warm, and most especially safe while exercising in the cold.
1. Get the right gear
This may sound surprising, but you don’t want to dress too warmly, even when it’s freezing out. Once you get your heart rate up, you’ll start to sweat. The secret to staying warm is to dress in layers so you can unzip and strip when you start to sweat. Make your first layer tight fitting, made of moisture-wicking fabric to pull sweat away from your body. Layer two focuses on insulation, to help you retain heat by trapping air close to your body. If it’s raining or windy, layer three should protect you against the elements, like a windbreaker or rain slicker.
2. Protect your extremities
When it’s cold outside, blood vessels under the surface of the skin in your extremities constrict, to help concentrate blood in your body’s core. This leaves your head, hands, and feet vulnerable to frostbite. Always don a thin pair of glove liners made of moisture-wicking fabric, with a heavier pair of gloves or mittens as a second layer. A hat and socks should also be made of a moisture-wicking fabric. Steer clear of cotton, which keeps moisture next to the skin.
3. Stay hydrated
Researchers have found that the body’s thirst response is reduced by up to 40 percent when exercising in cold weather.1 That means you’re not going to feel thirsty, even when you really need fluids. Add to that, you may not realize how much sweat you’re losing, particularly if you’re wearing the right clothing, upping your risk for dehydration even more. Make sure you drink before and after exercising.
To help your body absorb the water you’re drinking, consider taking Replace® SR Sustained Release Electrolytes. Each tablet uses our advanced delivery technology to release electrolytes slowly over a 4- to 6-hour period as your body needs them to help you absorb the water you drink to stay hydrated.*
4. Start slowly
Warming up before exercise is always important. But it’s even more important when the weather is cold, which tightens your muscles and increases the risk of injury. Always walk for an easy pace for at least five to 10 minutes. After your workout, cool down with another easy five minutes. And always end your exercise session with a set of whole-body stretches. To promote joint comfort and flexibility, consider adding ENDUR-FLEX® to your daily routine. ENDUR-FLEX® is specially formulated to provide glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate – two joint health nutrients backed by a large body of clinical research – in a unique sustained-release tablet for slow and steady nutrient release. Each easy-to-swallow tablet nourishes your body’s production of proteoglycans, large molecules that are required to maintain, rebuild, and repair cartilage tissue and lubricate joints.*
5. Check the weather report
While a cold-weather workout can be productive, a freezing-weather workout can be dangerous, especially if you have specific health concerns. A better option may be to walk on the treadmill or do resistance training indoors. Another reason to stay inside: If there’s any snow or ice on the ground, making for slippery conditions.
With just a little preparation, you can stay safe and warm outside.
About Endurance Products Company
Endurance Products Company has been a trusted source of quality dietary supplements since 1978. Our sustained-release and extended-release tablets feature a unique vegetable wax matrix that releases nutrients in a slow, steady manner over a period of hours for optimal nutrient absorption and retention.
- Kenefick RW, Hazzard MP, Mahood NV, Castellani JW. Thirst sensations and AVP responses at rest and during exercise-cold exposure. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2004;36(9):1528-34. PMID: 15354034.
* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.