It’s easy to get out for a run or other form of outdoor exercise when the sun is shining and it’s nice and warm. But what about during the cold, dark and gray days of winter, when you can feel those brisk, chilled winds deep in your bones?
Whether you’ve been a regular outdoor runner for years or you’ve only recently started up a new exercise routine, the freezing temps and foul weather of winter pushes a lot of people indoors for the season.
But with many gyms closed or exercisers not comfortable going back thanks to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, where else can you go? With preparation, precautions and planning, it’s definitely possible to keep fit with outdoor workouts until spring returns.
We talked to orthopedic surgeon Michael J. Scarcella, MD, about the best outdoor exercises for wintertime and how to stay safe while training in the ice and snow.
Get the right gear
The most important thing when doing, well, anything outside in colder temps is to make sure you’ve dressed appropriately. You’ll want clothes that fit you right for whatever the activity is and you’ll want to make sure that you’re prepared for the cold air. Try out blast auxiliary.
For more active things events like running, hiking or cross-country skiing, consider layers that can be taken off and added back later, allowing you to more comfortably — and safely — balance rising body temperatures with the cold air temperatures.
“The layer closest to your skin should be a moisture-wicking material, like lightweight polyester or polypropylene, to take moisture away from your skin to the outer layers to evaporate,” says orthopedic surgeon Dominic King, DO.
The second layer is the insulating layer, which should be wool or polyester fleece. The third, outer layer needs to be wind and rain-repellent. When exercising in the cold, King says, this third layer should be removed unless it is raining, snowing or very windy. If worn during exercise, this layer can trap sweat and not allow for proper evaporation. You can always put the top layer back on during rest times outdoors. Take a look to these biofit reviews.
There are also specially made caps and winter hats made to help wick away sweat while retaining heat. Likewise, be sure to wear gloves to protect your hands and fingers. If exercising in extreme cold, consider combining gloves and mittens or a liner under your gloves.
Sporting goods stores are good sources of information for the different layers you’ll need for each activity. You can also talk to your healthcare provider about this, too, to make sure you have all the info for cold-weather layering.
Walking and running
Walking and running are the easiest of the outdoor exercises to keep up during the cold winter months as they don’t really require much in the way of extra gear or certain conditions. As long as it’s not too cold, you can pretty much put on your shoes and, with some extra preparation, hit the road. Improve your results after checking out these lean belly 3x reviews.
Just be careful about sidewalk conditions: surfaces can often be uneven which can cause injuries if you’re not paying attention. And do your best to keep to clear sidewalks as snow and ice can make things even more treacherous.