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Thursday, February 21, 2013

Winter Workouts: staying warm and safe

Select the Right Clothes

Staying dry is essential.  Clothes specifically designed for cold weather wick away moisture from the body to keep you dry and warmer. For the layer that goes against
your skin look for “moisture wicking” on the label, as well as machine washable materials.  Avoid 100% cotton, it holds sweat and can lead to chills, muscle tightness and discomfort.

Wear Light Layers

Layers are important because if you get too hot, you can take some things off to cool down. Over your long sleeve moisture-wicking shirt, wear a fleece or wool pullover for insulation.  Add an outer layer that will repel water and block wind.

Use Reflective Gear

Since days are shorter, and it might be dark when you work out, make sure to wear easy- to- see colors and other reflective gear that can help drivers see you in the dark. There are reflective vests that are mesh, so as not to add weight and bulk that can be seen hundreds of feet away and offer 360-degree visibility. Flashing lights on bikes are another way to gain more visibility and ensure you can be seen even when you are working out in the dark.

Cover Your Head and Ears

Most heat escapes the body from the head. Hats can keep in heat, but look for hats made with moisture-wicking materials so as not to keep your head too sweaty. Headbands that cover the ears are also a great way to keep your head warm, without getting too sweaty.

Keep Hands and Feet Warm 

Protect your fingers and toes from frost bite.  Wear thin glove that can be layer inside heavier lined gloves or mittens.  Thermal socks are another essential winter workout item.

Indoor Alternatives 

 Be sensible in really nasty weather, do your workout indoors.  This is a great time to cross train and try a new activity.  Many gyms offer memberships on a month-to-month basis, which is a good opportunity to try a new class, start a weight training routine or try a new activity.

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