13 October 10 Fall-Friendly Fitness TipsAs colder weather becomes more common across the country, some of us begin to question our commitment to early-morning frosty runs or long cycling rides on cold, wet pavement. Fear not, for here are a few fall-friendly fitness tips that will keep us moving while the leaves are still falling.
When we try to talk ourselves out of exercising on chilly days, we're just don't like to be cold. To protect ourselves against chill, do two things: learn to layer and hide the head. The rate of heat loss changes with how cold it is - the lower the temperature the greater the heat loss. Heat loss through the head can contribute to as much as 30 percent of our total heat loss (the rate increases as the temperature drops), and our hands and feet are most prone to frostbite because they are the furthest away from our hearts. So always cover your head and ears, wear warm gloves and protect your toes.
If possible, warm your hands and feet before you get outside since it's easier for your gloves and socks to retain warmth than trap the small bits of heat your extremities actually produce. For your feet, avoid cotton socks, as they will trap moisture during exercises and make your feet colder.
What about the rest of your body? Wear a base layer that wicks moisture away from your skin. Choose the lightest weight layer that will still keep you warm, and in general, wear one more layer on top than on the bottom.
Always be aware of your route conditions, especially if ice is possible. There are several traction aids for shoes available on the market, should you need them.
Very importantly, don't forget protection against sun and wind by applying sun block and moisturizers as needed.
Water intake should not be reduced because you don't "feel" thirsty. Exercising in the cold still results in sweating, so take extra precautions for proper hydration.
Be seen. As the days get shorter, you may find yourself running in the dark. Wear reflective clothing and lights (one to see by and one to be seen with).
Forget the speed. Cold weather exercises should be more about maintenance and stamina than breaking records.
Lastly, change your clothes immediately after a workout. Your core body temperature will drop quickly post-exercise, so get warm and dry.
And if you need extra help staying motivated during colder months, check out the MyNetDiary Online Community to find out how others are bracing for darker days and chillier mornings! Have questions or comments about this post? Please feel free to comment on MyNetDiary's Community Forum or Facebook page – We would love to hear from you. And consider visiting our new Pinterest page!
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