Winter workout wear can help you stay healthy

By • Published: December 28th, 2010
Category: Health in a Heartbeat

As old man winter blasts the air with his chilly breath, many people find it harder to be motivated to get their regular dose of exercise… especially when it involves going outside. But staying active during the cold months is key for maintaining good health and keeping “hibernation” weight gain at bay.

Exercise can also help lift the spirits on these days when darkness falls sooner, and that benefit might be even greater if you’re outdoors… research shows that exposure to bright light while exercising boosts the mood-enhancing effects.

If you’re going out, though, be sure to dress for the occasion so you’re protected from the elements. That will help make sure your winter weather workout doesn’t do you more harm than good.

First, put on sunscreen before going for that walk, run or ride. Don’t let the cold fool you… skin-damaging ultraviolet rays are still beaming down.

Dress in layers that you can shed as you go, so that you will be as comfortable at the start of your workout as you are later when your heart rate ramps up and you warm up. A windbreaker over a long-sleeved shirt atop an undershirt should do the trick. Each layer of clothing adds a layer of air that helps conserve heat.

Cap your ensemble with a hat, scarf and gloves, when necessary, and don’t forget proper socks. The body can lose lots of heat via the head and neck because of blood vessels near the surface. And the hands and feet can get frostbitten because of reduced blood flow to the extremities.

One more thing: Make sure the traction on your shoes isn’t worn out. Get a new pair if you need to, so you’ll be less likely to slip on wet or unseen frozen patches.

Now you’re ready! Head out, keep fit and stay snug.