Winter can put a chill on even the most enthusiastic exerciser’s plans. But sticking to your exercise program throughout the colder months is beneficial for multiple reasons, experts say. Not only can physical activity lift your spirits during days of limited sunlight, it can help make sure you’re in good shape when the weather gets warmer.
To exercise safely in more challenging conditions, you may need to make some adjustments to your routine. When exercising outdoors, it’s important to dress properly. Wear layers that you can peel off as necessary. Ideally, the layer closest to your skin should be made of a breathable wicking material and not sweat-absorbing cotton. Then add a layer of fleece or cotton for warmth and, finally, a windbreaker or waterproof outer layer.
Make sure you’ve adequately insulated your extremities. Your face, fingers and toes are most likely to get frostbitten. Pain or tingling in your ears, fingers or toes is a sign that it’s time to come in from the cold. And don’t forget a hat — substantial body heat is lost through your head.