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Preparing For Exercise In Colder Weather

October 24, 2011

By Doug Sklar for WeatherBug


In addition to beautiful foliage, the onset of fall means cooler temperatures. While many will begin to take their exercise routine indoors, others will continue to pursue their fitness activities outdoors. Here are some basic, but important tips to keep in mind as temperatures begin to drop.

  • One of the most important things you can do is pay attention to the weather by following forecasts.


  • Dress in layers. It is easy to add or remove a layer as your body warms up or cools down.
  • Base layer -- This is the layer closest to your body. The base layer should be a moisture wicking fabric. Moisture wicking pulls sweat away from the body, leaving you more comfortable. Ask your local sportswear store or simply look for clothing identified on the label as containing moisture wicking fabric. Do not wear cotton. It traps body heat and sticks to the skin, resulting in higher body temperatures and uncomfortable chafing.
  • 2nd layer -- This is the most important layer to keep you warm. The 2nd layer should be a synthetic fabric such as polyester.
  • Outer layer -- This layer protects you from the elements, such as wind, rain, etc. It should be waterproof, windproof, and breathable.
  • Head and hands -- We lose most of our body heat through our head, therefore a hat is extremely important on very cold days.

Extremities are the first to suffer from the cold. A moisture wicking glove will go a long way towards making you feel more comfortable.
  • A good guideline: If you are already warm when you leave the house, you have too many layers on. Your body will warm up as you begin exercising. Based on the temperature, layering should be adjusted accordingly. You can remove layers when you begin to sweat and put them back on when you begin to cool down.
  • Hydration:

    • It is just as important to hydrate in cooler temperatures as it is in warmer temperatures. Although you may not feel as thirsty, your body is still losing water and electrolytes that need to be replaced. Sip water throughout the day and consume a sports drink during exercise sessions lasting longer than one hour.

    Be aware of hazardous weather conditions. Pay attention to how your body feels during exercise. Be smart, stay healthy and have fun out there!

    Be sure to keep WeatherBug active to receive the latest weather in your neighborhood and get the latest updates anywhere on Twitter.

    About the Author

    Doug Sklar is the owner of DHS Personal Fitness in New York City ( www.dhspersonalfitness.com.)

    He is a Certified Personal Trainer, a certified "Sports Performance Enhancement Specialist," a TRX Suspension Training expert, and nationally certified distance-running coach.

    Story Image: Wikimedia file photo of a woman running in the snow in city park.

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