Stay Safe When Exercising Outdoors in Cold Weather

Dress in layers. You should do this in the cold weather whether your’e working out or not, but it’s essential if you’re planning to exercise in the cold. You’ll want to make sure you’re warm when you walk outside and are first struck by how cold it is, but that you don’t overheat when you start working out or get too cold when you start to sweat and that sweat evaporates. Wear light jackets you can tie around your waist when you get too warm, and thermal exercise clothes designed to wick away sweat and moisture from your skin and keep your temperature even.

Protect Your extremities. You lose a lot of body heat through the top of your head, so it’s obviously important to keep that covered if it’s cold outside, but it’s just as important to protect the extremities that don’t get the same kind of blood flow that your head and torso get. Your ears, fingers and hands, feet and toes, they’re all important to keep covered and protected. The Mayo Clinic even suggests buying running shoes that are half-size too big so you can pile on the thermal socks.

Stay hydrated. It might be tempting to forgo the water bottle if you’re headed out on a bike ride in December or going for a morning jog in 40-degree weather, but don’t leave it behind. Just because it’s cold outside doesn’t mean you won’t sweat at all, and just because it’s cold outside doesn’t mean your body won’t need more water to keep you going. Bring some with you, or make sure to take breaks to stay hydrated.

Keep your phone on and on you. This is important in any weather, but when it’s cold outside or you’re planning to go running or biking far from home, it’s less likely you’ll encounter people who are also out for a run or jog. When it’s cold, most people will try to stay indoors, which means if you take a tumble or get injured, it’s even more important that you have the means to call for help without needing to flag someone down.

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