September 25, 2022
4 Steps to Take to Continue to Safely Exercise in Cold-Weather Months
It happens to all of us: just as you are getting into a good exercise routine during the summer, the days get shorter and colder. Cooler temperatures and less daylight to work with can throw your fitness routine for a loop, but it doesn’t have to be that way.
By making some simple adjustments, you can safely continue to exercise outside in the fall and beyond.
- Make Yourself and Your Surroundings Visible
First off, you’ll want to make sure you’re seen by other people and vehicles. Wear bright, neon colors and consider adding strips of reflective tape to your clothing. After you’ve taken care of your visibility, make sure you can see what’s happening around you by investing in a headlamp or hand-held flashlight. Extra-bright lights that are rechargeable with a USB cord are available for walkers, runners, and bikers.
- Dress for Weather Conditions
If it’s cold, you’ll want to wear layers. It will feel cold when you begin, but once you warm up, you may want to remove layers. Make your outer layer something light and wind-resistant, and a hat with a visor can also help when it’s raining.
Your footwear is also important. In wet and especially snowy or slippery conditions, be sure you’re wearing a shoe with good tread on it.
- Prepare Your Body
You’ll still want to make sure you’re hydrated even in cooler temperatures. You won’t sweat as much, but your body still needs hydration. Your body also burns extra calories to stay warm when exercising in the cold, so eating a bit more than you would in the summer months is also recommended.
Be sure to stretch a little more too because cold muscles and ligaments are more prone to pulls and tears when it’s cold out.
- Know When to Stay In
You should never exercise in a thunderstorm, when the wind chill is -10 degrees Fahrenheit (or 15 degrees Fahrenheit when biking because of the additional wind), or during a snow storm when visibility for other people or drivers may be an issue.