Keeping fit, staying warm

Keeping fit, staying warm

If you’re exercising outdoors during the winter, make sure you’re dressed for the weather.Whether it’s taking a brisk walk, jogging or hitting the slopes, some of us love to get outside in the wintertime.

But if you’re going outdoors, make sure you’re dressed appropriately. The IDEA Health & Fitness Association, the American Podiatric Medical Association and other experts recommend these tips:

Cover your head

Hats keep the heat in. When temperatures drop to 20 degrees, you lose more than 40 percent of your body heat through your head. When temperatures are colder than 5 degrees, 70 percent of your heat is lost from your head.

Layer clothes

Don’t worry about wearing heavy, bulky clothing. Many lightweight alternatives are available. Multiple layers help trap in air, which keeps you warm. You should try to dress in three layers:

  • Inner. Clothes next to your skin should help draw away moisture. Good fabrics for this include polypropylene and wool.
  • Middle. This layer is for insulation. A good choice is polyester fleece, which is warm and draws away sweat. It also dries quickly when wet.
  • Outer. Outerwear should shield you from wind. Good fabrics for this include Gore-tex and Activent.

Protect your hands

Mittens provide more protection from the cold than gloves.


On your feet

Walking and running. Wear waterproof shoes or boots that provide good traction. Avoid walking or running on ice.

Wear a single pair of thick socks made of acrylic fibers or an acrylic blend. These will help draw moisture away from the skin.


Skiing and skating. Proper fit for ski boots and skates is vital for both safety and warmth. A fit that’s too tight can cut off circulation and leave toes cold. Boots or skates that are too loose won’t provide proper support.


Snowboarding. No special footwear is required for snowboarding, but large, sturdy, insulated boots will provide the best warmth and support.


Indoor alternatives

When the weather outside is really frightful, consider indoor exercise, such as group cycling classes, martial arts, indoor swimming or aerobics. At home, you can use a treadmill, rowing machine, stationary bike, weights, jump rope or exercise videos to stay in shape.

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