Winter Warm Up
It’s getting colder, which means inclement weather is approaching, and along with it, your struggle to keep dedicated to health and exercise! There’s a wide range of debates on which type of weather is better to workout in- hot or cold. If the cold weather affects your workout, here are few safety tips to keep in mind when you’re out there, battling the elements.
Always look out for ice
This might seem like a no-brainer, but black ice is a very real threat. Because of its slick, invisible nature, it can be easy to injure yourself on ice. Even when you think you’re safe on the salted sidewalks, always keep an eye on the ground for any area that seems dangerous. It might slow down your run, but not as much as 4-8 weeks of recovery will.
Know your route
This is pretty solid year-round advice, but with colder weather comes shorter days, and there’s less daylight to take advantage of. Pretty quickly an early sunny morning jog before work can seem like an extension of the night before, and if you’re waiting until the evening to go out and exercise, the sun is going to set a lot sooner than you might think. Make sure you know where you’re going and what hazards are potentially in your way. Consider bringing a flashlight, and always try to wear reflective strips on your clothing.
Dress smarter, not heavier
A good rule of thumb is to dress like it is 10 degrees warmer than the actual temperature (make sure to factor in wind chill!) when you’re going to work out. Your own body temperature is going to go into overdrive, and that lovely thick winter coat that traps all your body heat – guess what? It’s going to trap ALL your body heat. The best thing you can do is dress in layers. One of the most common formulas for layers of winter clothing is to have a moisture wicking shirt next to your skin to keep the sweat away (especially if you slow down – without the body heat keeping your warm, the sweat will cool VERY rapidly and put you at risk with very low temperatures). Next, try to incorporate some sort of wool or artificial fiber layer for heat, and on top a water proof shell to keep you safe from rain or snow.
Above all, practice extra caution, and remember that your health and safety comes first. It’s no fun being cooped up inside during the winter months, and even less so if you have an injury or illness to deal with. Stay safe, and sweat hard out there!