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4 Tips for Safe Winter Exercise

By Donna Stark

When wintertime comes around, do you find yourself scratching your head wondering what to do because your workouts have been severely limited? Do you wish you could just head outdoors and go for a run like you do in the spring and summer? Wintertime weather can surely throw a wrench in many of our fitness routines, but fortunately, with a few simple modifications, you can continue doing some of your favorite exercises no matter how cold the temperature is. Take a look.

Remain Dry

When many people dress themselves and their families for an outdoor winter expedition, they focus too much on remaining warm and overlook staying dry. In fact, getting soaked is the easiest way for your body to lose heat and more than likely the main reason why people cut their workouts short. In extreme cases, wet clothing can even cause hypothermia. Your best bet is to skip the cotton sportswear (it holds onto sweat and water) and choose clothing that is made from moisture-wicking material instead.

Make Yourself Visible

Your visibility to others is one of the most important things to consider before you head out, especially if you plan on exercising when it is dark. Though they may be less fashionable, it is highly recommended to wear bright reflective clothing when heading outdoors for your next winter run. And since the darker winter days will obscure others' vision as well as your own, you may want to consider using a headlamp when exercising. In addition to making yourself more visible, it will also help light your way.

Protect Your Skin

As the winter air cools down, it will also dry out. Remaining moisturized before and after your workout will decrease your chances of experiencing workout-related cuts and sores. And while the sun may be hiding behind the clouds, its UV rays are not. The snow below you will reflect much of the UV rays back on your body which causes you to be exposed to the UV rays twice! So, slather on that sunblock and don't forget to moisturize your lips while you are at it!

Cover Extremities

When your body is exposed to colder conditions, your blood flow does a pretty amazing thing. It heads to the center of your body to keep your body temperature at an appropriate level. But in doing so, it also causes your fingertips, toes, ankles, and hands to receive less blood. That's why it is recommended to always wear hats, gloves, and thicker socks. The best part about wearing these accessories is that they can always be taken off and put back on depending on how much they are needed.

Winter Exercise

Don't let winter's harsh conditions keep you from enjoying the outdoors. Just follow the suggestions above for a successful and safe workout. Have fun exercising!

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Beaverton, Ore. 

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