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Cold weather

How to run and work out safely in cold weather

Tuesday, December 18, 2012 by: Sarka-Jonae Miller
Tags: cold weather, working out, jogging

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(NaturalNews) Exercising during cold weather months is important to keep the immune system working optimally and to stave off winter weight gain. But how do you balance the need to stay warm and covered up with the need to move unhindered? Learn how to protect yourself against the cold without overdoing it.

Layer appropriately

A quick glance outside reveals people bundled up in overcoats, scarves, gloves, and ear muffs. You think, I had better cover up, and start wrapping yourself in every warm piece of clothing you own. Unfortunately, there is such a thing as wearing too many layers for a run outdoors.

Put on just enough clothing to keep you warm but that won't cause you to overheat once your body temperature rises during your workout. You should be able to move naturally in your workout attire. Take off anything that obscures your vision or limits your mobility.

Pamper and protect your feet

Of course you want to keep your body warm, but keeping your feet dry and warm should be your primary concern when running outdoors. If your favorite running shoes have a design that lets in moisture, hang them up for the season and get something new. Buy shoes with a protective layer and take a little time to coat them with water-resistant spray.

Choose synthetic

Synthetic clothing is ideal for winter workouts. Synthetic fabrics that fit close to your body wick away sweat so that it does not cool against your skin. Do not forget about your hands and head. Gloves and a hat made from synthetic materials are non-negotiable when it is really cold.

Protect exposed skin

One thing many people forget to wear during cold, cloudy days is sunscreen. Just because the sun is not as strong as during other times of the year does not mean it cannot burn you. Slather on a natural sunscreen, sweat-resistant for any part of your skin that is visible.

The risk of covering your skin with clothing and sunscreen whenever you go out during the winter is that you may make yourself deficient in vitamin D. Your body naturally makes the vitamin from exposure to sunlight, but it cannot do so if sunscreen and clothes get in the way, especially when the winter sun is weak. While many people can get enough of the vitamin from being outdoors with unprotected skin for 10 to 15 minutes during warm weather months, winter is a different story. Without enough vitamin D, you increase your risk of bone fractures by up to 60 percent, not a great thing when you are running on potentially icy surfaces. Aim for supplementing with 25 micrograms of vitamin D daily.

Drink water

People often make the mistake of thinking that they do not need a lot of water when the weather is cold. You may think that you do not sweat much when you run or work out in the cold. You would be wrong. You need to have access to water when you work out any time of the year.

A great way to get an extra hydrating boost is by drinking coconut water, which is a natural source of electrolytes. Coconut water also contains antioxidants that help your immune system fight off the nasty bugs that pop up often during wintertime.

Follow these tips to exercise safely when it is cold outside and to stay healthy during a time of year that many people fall ill or feel their energy levels plummet.

Sources for this article include:


About the author:
Sarka-Jonae Miller is a former personal trainer and massage therapist. She has a journalism degree from Syracuse University. Sarka-Jonae currently writes romantic comedy novels and romantic erotica under the same SJ Miller.
Get more health and wellness tips from SJ's natural health Twitter feed or from SJ's Facebook page.
SJ's books can be found on Amazon.

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