The biggest concern for exercising in the cold is hypothermia, or too much heat loss. ACE's Chief Science Officer Dr. Cedric X. Bryant shares some insightful tips to help you prepare for the elements:
· Layer Up for a Workout: Clothing adds to the insulation barrier and is the most important element in performance while exercising in the cold. By wearing clothing in layers, you have the ability to change the amount of insulation that is needed as you work out.
· Protect your head: Generally, heat loss from the head alone is about 50% at the freezing mark, and by simply wearing a helmet or hat, a person can stay outside indefinitely.
· Don't leave the house without your gloves: Lower temperatures cause blood to be shunted away from your hands to the center of the body to keep the internal organs warm and protected. Superficial warming of the hands using gloves will return blood flow to prevent tissue damage.
· Check with the Weatherman: Always check the air temperature and wind chill factor before exercising in the cold and dress appropriately. A danger exists for individuals with exposed skin when the wind-chill factor (a combined effect of temperature and wind) falls below -20° F.
On the days it is too cold to exercise outdoors, check out ACE's quick 20 minute Tabata exercise that can be done anywhere.
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