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Surviving Outdoor Exercise in the Cold Is a Must

By Tom Herrin

Any time the temperatures change, those of us who exercise outdoors have to be able to make some adjustments.  It is part of having any kind of successful program.  In the heat, we have to use good judgment as to when is the best time to get out and what to wear to keep us adequately cool.  In the cold, we have to turn much of that around.  Knowing the best time of day, as well as what to wear, may make or break our efforts.  

Several years ago, I became determined to ride my bicycle as long as the temperature was above 30 degrees.  It was quite a challenge.  Knowing what to wear so that I did not get too hot too soon was a big deal.  Since I usually rode in the evenings, it was usually getting colder as I rode for that hour.  We have better options today with layers.

The First Layer

As we get ourselves ready to get out and be active, we need to have the right kind of inner layers.  It is suggested that we wear something that is tight-fitting.  It also needs to be able to wick moisture and breathe.  It is critical that we can avoid becoming soaked with perspiration.  These fabrics today allow us to dry properly as we go.  Remaining comfortable is an important part of our motivation to continue.

The Second Layer

Much of the work of actually insulating happens in the second layer.  It is recommended that this be lightweight and bulky.  This light material is similar to insulation on many homes in that air is somewhat trapped and heated or cooled in a dead space.  Moisture must still be removed here as air flows.  While there are many newer materials available, some of the older traditional ones, like wool or fleece, may function well here as well.

The Third Layer

This outer layer has several jobs.  It should be capable of withstanding wind, rain, and abrasive substances.  It is the final layer for removal of moisture.  Some of this should be easily removed in order to regulate temperature as conditions change.  Even though this may seem like a lot, these layers are really pretty thin and carry out some important roles.  This also may take a little modifying, but it can be a good start for a successful session out in the cold.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Fort Myers, Fla.

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