When it’s Cool Outdoors, Exercise Needs a Warm Up
Even as cold winter days start to recede and spring begins, there are still plenty of places nationwide where temperatures are close to or below freezing in the early morning and late afternoon hours. For outdoor weather enthusiasts, there’s a strong temptation to start working out again in the fresh air. You do need to follow some basic tips so the cold temperatures don’t hamper your workout or put you at risk.
If you walk, jog or run, make sure that wet pavement or paths don’t have frozen ice patches. They can be hard to see in the early morning light, or waning afternoon sun. You can take a slide on a patch and end up with an injury.
Year round, always wear bright colors and reflective clothing so pedestrians and drivers can see you.
Wear athletic shoes that grip the road with deeper treads and also make sure they are water proof.
Always carry emergency medications with you like an inhaler, since breathing in very cold air or dry air can sometimes trigger bronchial spasms.
Carry some water with you since you can dehydrate even in cold weather.
Consider wearing wool socks that wick moisture away from your feet.
If the sun is shining or rises while you work out, you should wear sunblock on exposed body parts.
Assume you will need gloves, and carry a pair with you. Once you get moving, you may find that it’s still colder than you thought it might be, and exposed hands will suffer. There are “warmers” that you can also carry with you and activate if you need the extra warmth. Ski shops typically carry these items.
Choose layers based on the fact that the weather can warm up as the morning sun comes up, or it can get much chillier if you are running in the afternoon or evening.
Also consider using clothes made from some of the newer blends that wick moisture away from your body, particularly if you work out in the late afternoon or evening when temperatures drop. Cooling down and stretching out in the dropping temperatures can be very unpleasant if your clothes are drenched in sweat.
Always move around for about two minutes to get your heart rate up before attempting to stretch out.
Many people prefer doing a warm up, then getting into their routine, and then cooling down and stretching at the end of the workout.
The tips will help to make sure that you are exercising safely during the winter-to-spring season.