Cooler weather may come as a welcome relief to exercise enthusiasts who sweated through their workouts during the hot summer months. But as with any environmental change when it comes to exercise, you’ll want to be sure to make adjustments to keep yourself safe.
Layering. In cold weather months, it can be tempting to wear a heavy jacket on a run, but experts recommend layering your clothing so you can remove some layers as your body heats up and then put them back on during your cool down when the sweat dries and you begin to feel the cold. The first layer should be of a synthetic fabric that pulls sweat away from your body, not natural fabrics like cotton that hold it in. Your outer layer should be waterproof to protect you from the elements—rain, snow and wind. An optional middle layer can help insulate you on the coldest of days. Materials like fleece are good because they are both synthetic and soft.
Keep hydrated. Even in the cold, it’s important to drink plenty of water.
Protect your skin and eyes. A strong sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15 will protect your skin from the UVA and UVB rays of the sun. It’s also advised that if exercising in cold weather, a protective lip balm be applied and sunglasses or goggles be worn to shield eyes from sun and ice glare.
Warm-up and cool-down. In cold weather, muscles are more vulnerable to injury meaning close attention needs to be paid to a proper warm-up and cool down.
For additional information, visit the Mayo Clinic, which offers exhaustive guidelines for exercising when the weather turns cold, or see the American College of Sports Medicine’s guide for appropriate exercise clothing for inclement weather.
Will you be adjusting your exercise routine as the weather cools? Does winter weather deter you from exercise?
Got more health questions? Checkout the Library’s online resource – Health and Wellness Resource Center