Exercise in the winter even if it’s cold.

Even though the days are shorter and the nights longer, you don’t have to put your fitness goals on hold.

You just have to be more creative and ready.

Although exercising outside in winter can be risky, exposure to cold in controlled and safe conditions could help you build muscle and lose weight.

Winter Exercise Risks

When your body temperature falls below 95degF, you are considered hypothermic. Mild hypothermia is characterized by shivering, and may also cause behavioral changes. If the temperature continues to drop, it can lead to dangerous arrhythmias and severe bradycardia.

Frostbite is caused by parts of the body freezing, such as your nose, ears and fingers. Frostbite and hypothermia can be treated and recovered if you recognize the symptoms early and get out of the cold quickly.

The cold weather can make you less flexible and cause the sidewalks to be slippery and icy, increasing your risk of falling and pulling a muscle.

You should also consider the wind and wetness. The wind or the movement of a bicycle or running can take away your warmth.

Exercise in Cold Weather

Wearing layers will keep you warm, dry and safe when exercising in cold weather.

Polypropylene is a good synthetic material to start with. Cotton can retain water and cause hypothermia. You need to use a material which will draw sweat away from the body.

Put on a layer of wool or fleece to trap the heat and feel warm.

Wear a waterproof outer layer for protection against wind, rain and snow.

If you are feeling overheated, remove a layer of clothing or open the front of your coat. Put on another layer if you are feeling cold or wrap a scarf round your neck.

Wear gloves to keep warm. Your shoes should have good traction to prevent slipping on ice, and be large enough to accommodate thick socks.

Make sure that your clothes fit well. They shouldn’t be too tight or too loose. You need enough space to move around comfortably without causing discomfort or restricting your blood flow.

Wearing sunscreen is still important, even if it’s cloudy and cold. Even though you may not feel or see the heat from the sun, the UV rays can still damage your skin.

Find exercises you can do at home if you don’t feel like going outside or if the weather prevents you from driving.

You can still achieve your fitness goals during the winter months if you are aware of the dangers and take the necessary precautions.

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