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Prep Can Go a Long Way When Exercising in the Cold

By Tom Herrin

Some of us enjoy exercising outdoors.  It can feel refreshing and provide a completely different outlook than doing so indoors.  When conditions are pleasant, it can be a great experience.  When the conditions begin to change, our enthusiasm may begin to wane.  Lower temperatures can be rough.  Motivation may turn into discouragement.  Trying to prepare ourselves for it may be pretty challenging.  My own experience has left me less than enthusiastic as I tried to figure out the best way to dress so that I could begin warm enough and yet not become too overheated as I exercised.  The other extreme would have me unable to keep from being too cold to exercise at all.  With today's sports apparel and layers, it is possible to have a good session at a reasonable level of comfort.

Start Right

The first layer is always important.  It can set the tone for overall success.  Many recommend that a first layer should be tight-fitting and lightweight.  You must be able to move freely.  It should also wick away moisture and allow good airflow.  This is critical to remaining dry and comfortable.  If this first layer makes you feel bad, your workout may be done.  If you are constantly drying as you exercise, it will be a much better experience.

Stay Warm 

The middle layer is the one that needs to be able to keep you warm.  If you are not warm enough to begin with, it can go bad.  It needs to be insulated, and some of the older traditional materials are still considered to be quite effective.  Wool fleece, and down are a few that have good records for success.  Along with these, a few others have been developed that may be even more streamlined.  This layer still must allow moisture and air to flow through.  Many have pockets, zippers, etc., that can make it more useful.

Be Tough

The outer layer is much like a skin.  It needs to protect everything inside.  It should be tough enough to resist rain and wind.  It also needs to protect against anything that could cause scrapes or bumps.  It is helpful if it has parts that are removable so that it is easier to help with airflow and maintain a constant temperature with little effort.  If you can make these adjustments without really stopping your workout, you will be more likely to continue.

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

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