Even though the weather is seductive enough to make us stay in bed all day long, it’s not feasible to do so. Exercise, like other daily activities, is a must. However, it is best to be well prepared for working out outdoors in the winters.
In this regard, here are some useful tips for outdoor exercise in the cold weather:
1. Take steps to protect your skin
Winter is not just cold, it is dry. Therefore, you need to protect your skin. To this end, drink plenty of water to stay hydrated. On top of that, use a moisturizing cream or lotion. For sensitive areas such as your nostrils, use Vaseline (petroleum jelly).
Don’t forget to protect your skin from the sun. The odds of a sunburn in winter are also high. Even if it is cloudy, UV rays can damage your skin. The risk increases in the instance of snow. This is because snow reflects 80% of the UV rays, which is why you are likely to be hit by the same rays twice.
2. Don’t forget your warm-up
Warm ups are very important for winter workouts. These amp up the blood flow and temperature in the muscles, which decreases the risk of injuries. Exercising in colder temperatures antes up your odds of strains and sprains.
The warm-up depends on the type of exercise you are going to do. A good tip is to perform low-intensity movements, which mimic the exercise that you are about to perform.
3.Peel off layers of clothing as you warm up
A big mistake is to not remove clothing layers as your temperature increases with the physical activity. You don’t want to become extremely sweaty as that increases your risk of frostbite, dehydration, and a lot more.
Therefore, as soon as you note that your body temperature is at baseline, you can start discarding layers. Additionally, keep in mind that the workout intensity will affect how many layers of warm clothing you need and in how much time you would need to remove them. For example, runners need few layers of clothing than walkers as they move faster and generate more heat.
4. Wear bright colors
Winters are darker and colder than other seasons. That is a no-brainer. However, the essential point is that the snow, rain, and dark skies may it challenging for others to see you. This is why you should wear bright colors. If possible, wear reflective clothing and gear.
5. Keep yourself dry
You need to be dry in addition to being warm. If you are damp in the cold, you are likely to get sick. Your risk of hypothermia and frostbite also increases. Water is an efficient heat conductor.
It moves heat away from the area of its highest concentration to the lowest. This means that you will be left wet and cold quickly. Therefore, you need to switch the use of cotton wear to synthetic fibers. Cotton soaks up sweat and holds in moisture. On the flip side, synthetic fiber such as nylon, polyester, and polypropylene dry up quickly.
6. Breathe right
Lastly, you need to breathe properly. The cold, biting air can make breathing a hurtful endeavor. This is because the airway passages tend to be narrow. This makes inhalation challenging.
So, if you are breathing in through the nose while you are exerting yourself, then you may not get adequate oxygen. However, if you wrap a scarf or bandanna around your mouth, then you may not only protect your skin but the trapped water vapor can make it easy for you to breathe.