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How to dress for wintertime walks

Posted by CarePoint Health on Dec 30, 2015 8:00:00 AM

how to dress for a walk in winterAlthough you may be less than thrilled about taking a walk in the cold, exercise in the winter can be doable — and even enjoyable — if you know how to prepare.

In fact, some people find that the cold weather is easier to tolerate than the extreme heat. You can always wear extra layers to warm up when the mercury drops, but when the sun is scorching, there’s not much you can do except seek shade and drink plenty of water.

With a little investment in the proper fabrics and right type of clothing, you could be feeling and looking great for a cold winter workout. You’ll keep your energy up during the dark winter days and won’t have to worry about any excess pounds you gained over the winter when spring finally arrives.

  • Dress in layers. You’ll need a next-to-skin base layer, with one or more other layers on top, depending on how cold it is. For a milder, 45-degree day, one extra layer should do. If it’s in the 30s, you may find two layers are needed. You can always remove one mid-workout if you get too warm.
  • Use wicking fabrics designed for exercise — particularly for your base layer. Some of these may be synthetic, and others are merino wool. Look for moisture-wicking properties listed on the label. Sports bras and running tights should be wicking. They can typically be purchased at sporting goods stores. Although it may seem like sweating wouldn’t be an issue when it’s 35 degrees, you’ll still sweat from the activity, and keeping yourself dry is crucial. Wet clothing is uncomfortable, can chafe, and will make you feel colder.
  • On top of your base later, choose a wind-resistant fabric like a nylon jacket and pants. Blocking the cold wind will help keep you much more comfortable on brisk days.
  • Wear a lightweight hat and comfortable gloves, and consider a neck warmer if your jacket doesn’t provide good neck coverage. The hat should be relatively thin and breathable: enough to cover your ears and head but not overheat you.
  • If it’s icy, consider getting special traction devices that slip onto the bottom of your shoes or boots. These can be purchased from sports stores or online.

Although many people can enjoy winter exercise safely, talk with your physician before starting an exercise program. As long as the weather isn’t severe and you don’t have any health conditions that would make it dangerous, exercising outdoors can be fun and rejuvenating. It’s a healthy way to help beat the winter doldrums until the warm weather comes again.

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Topics: Bariatrics, Exercise, Health