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Manage Outdoor Exercise in the Cold With Layers

By Tom Herrin

Staying focused on an exercise program outdoors can become pretty difficult when the temperature begins to drop.  What may have been really exciting may all of a sudden lose a lot of steam.  The problem, of course, is having the ability to prevent being too cold while avoiding getting too warm too fast.  When I first began riding a bicycle daily several years ago, I decided that I would ride every day possible.  Since I usually worked late, this meant that my ride may last until 10 or later.  In the winter, the temperature may drop during that hour, so I had to be prepared.  It was difficult to wear the right things for the entire session.  As a result, I sometimes had to give up something that made it hard to accomplish.  I have learned that today layers can be a great help.

Get a Good First Layer

Instead of the sweats we once wore that were heavy and held moisture, it is now suggested that we wear a first layer that is tight-fitting and lightweight.  It should wick away moisture and allow good airflow so that you can avoid some of the problems that were so common in the past.  Back then, we got warm, then wet, then cold.  It was sometimes a pretty discouraging problem.

Insulate Is What the Second Layer Is About

One of the layers has to have the job of keeping us warm.  The second layer should have good insulation so that we can avoid heating up or cooling off too fast.  If this layer is bulky with air spaces, we can do this.  Good materials have always been wool, down, and fleece.  There are many materials today that may do an even better job.  Whichever it is, it should allow moisture to be able to move out while air moves around.

Have a Tough Outer Layer

The layer on the outside needs to be able to protect us.  It should resist wind and rain as well as protect against abrasions that could be the result of sand, rock, or scrapes.  If it has some parts that are removable, it will be easier to maintain a good, relatively constant temperature so that you can complete your workout in some comfort.  With the right kind of layers, you will be able to do this.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Mint Hill, N.C.

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