Exercising in Cold Weather

When winter arrives in Oklahoma, most people try to avoid exercising outdoors because of the temperature, but exercising in cold weather actually has some benefits. It may help burn more calories, gives you more energy, and even can enhance your mood. Most peoploe who exercise do know that exercise releases endorphins that make you feel good, but your body has to work even harder when it is cold out to keep your body warm, therefore burning more calories and releasing more of those endorphins.

TIPS FOR EXERCISING IN COLD WEATHER:

1)    Try to stay on heavily traveled routes. This can help decrease risks of injury. If someone were to fall and get injured and they are out by themselves where there is no one to see them, they could potentially develop hyperthermia if the temperature is too cold and they cannot get back to warmth quickly.

2)    Get a better warm up before the activity. Prolong your warm up indoors before going outdoors to exercise because muscles take longer to warm up in cold weather and do not stay as warm while exercising in the cold temperatures. When you first start your exercise, try taking 30-second breaks every so often to minimize risk of injury.

3)    Try to stay on paths that are blocked from the wind. Running on trails near trees or walls help you stay warm by blocking the wind and elements of winter.

4)    Cool down progressively. You do not want to just stop at the end of your exercise. Try to slow your pace for the final 3 or 4 minutes of exercise and go in doors to stretch afterward.

5)    Drink plenty of fluids before, during, and after your workout. Try to keep your water bottle underneath your layers so it will not freeze. Since sweat is not as visible during cold weather, most people do not realize that they sweat just as much as when it’s hot out, therefore, they do not pay as much attention to hydrating as they should.

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