Emerald Coast Chiropractic

How to Train in the Winter Months

winter running

The Emerald Coast is experiencing unseasonably cold weather this winter which could hamper your outside exercise regimen. Some of the most highly motivated physical specimens can come up with excuses not to exercise when the weather is cold and wet.  Even though it may be uncomfortable at first there are several advantages to exercising in the colder weather. Calorie burn can be higher in the cold, as the body has to expend energy on staying warm thus increased reduction of body fat.  Running in cold weather conditions trains your body to use oxygen more efficiently and reduces your risk of flu through the winter months.  There’s no reason to postpone your fitness and wellness goals because of the weather being less than comfortable. It’s fine to exercise in the cold as long as you take certain precautions to avoid hypothermia. If you are having a hard time figuring out how to work out during the winter contact fitness coaching Ann Arbor for help to reach your goals.

Wear layers
Insulating yourself against the wind and other elements is important, so create a layered barrier instead of a single bulk. (The advantage is you can always remove the outer layer if you get over-heated.) The first layer that’s directly touching your skin should be a lightweight synthetic or polyester material that will dry quickly and wick away moisture.  The second layer should be wool or polyester fleece. The outermost layer — worn in the rain, snow, or wind — should be lighter weight and water-repellent to help you stay dry.

Cover your head
About 50 percent of body heat is lost from an uncovered head when the temperatures hit the freezing mark. Wearing a hat will help your body retain heat. If you are sporting a hairstyle with little or no hair a hat can be even more beneficial. Believe me I know from experience.

Protect your hands and feet
Keeping hands and feet warm is key in cold temperatures since your body will bypass blood away from extremities to keep your internal organs warm.  Gloves will help prevent skin damage and frostbite in sub-zero temperatures.  To keep your feet warm, make sure your torso is properly insulated. That will drive blood back down to your lower extremities.

Avoid heavy cotton materials that absorb sweat
These will make you wetter and colder, once the body is cold and wet it is much harder to regain that body temperature.  Stick with wool and polyester fabrics as mentioned above.

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