Baby its COLD Outside. Working out in cold weather—

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By Ken Hunt  AFI Certified Trainer – Owner / Steel Gym

With the temperatures plummeting this time of year, many of us tend to stay cuddled up inside our homes watching “Mommie Dearest”  for the 700thtime.   It’s important to stay active through all four seasons. Yet, many people get no exercise at all during the winter months.

Just because it is cold outside doesn’t make it open season for an excuse not to exercise

All that is required for Winter-time workouts is some planning and employing all safety precautions.

Although many of you belong to a gym,  If you prefer to workout outside, keep the following tips in mind.

Get warm first. A proper warm-up is critical. Cold temperatures can make your muscles tight and therefore they are more prone to injuries. So, it’s important to get them warmed-up prior to engaging in intense physical activity

Insulate your body. The best approach to dressing for outdoor exercise is with layers.  The layer closest to your skin should allow moisture to be wicked away. The top layer should be both wind and water resistant. If its too cold, keep a light scarf over your mouth as you breath in.  It will help warm the air before hitting your lungs

No sweat. Don’t assume that you have to sweat in order to get a good workout. You should avoid sweating that causes the clothing layer closest to your skin to get wet and cause you to be chilled. Instead monitor your intensity through a heart rate monitor. Stay away from cotton shirts.  The will retain moisture.  Get your self some workout clothes with wicking material to draw the wetness away from you.  Spend a few bucks and get yourself some workout clothes designed for cold weather exercise.

Don’t strip when you get inside. (Unless you have a really hot guy waiting for you).  While you may be tempted to immediately remove your layers when returning inside, give your body time to adjust. Post exercise hypothermia is possible. This happens when your body rapidly loses its heating stores.

Drink up. It’s just as important to stay hydrated when exercising in winter as it is in summer, even though you might not feel as thirsty.

Lighten up. If possible, it’s best to exercise outdoors during daylight areas. But, with shorten days that can be difficult to do. If you exercise outdoors when it is dark, wear reflective materials to ensure that you can be seen.

Moisturize after you shower or bath.  The cold weather is havoc on your skin.  It will dry you out and make you itch like crazy.  When you get out of the shower and you are still a bit damp, work in a good amount of your favorite moisture cream or lotion.  If you can, don’t towel off, let the product do its work and  disappear into your skin.  And use a cream especially designed for your face. You want to make sure that you are well protected.

And don’t use the excuse that physical activity during the winter months leads to more colds.

Scientists at Ball State University in Muncie, Ind., gave 50 healthy students ages 19 to 29 an upper-respiratory virus.

Sixteen students were instructed to remain as sedentary as possible while the remaining 34 exercised moderately for 40 minutes per day.

Both groups were told not to take any cold medications.

After 10 days, researchers found no differences in the duration or severity of symptoms between the two groups. While the exercise didn’t speed up recovery, it didn’t slow it down either.

Previous studies have found that regular, moderate exercise is effective for reducing one’s risk of catching a cold.

So it appears the best medicine may be to continue exercising moderately while the cold runs its course.  Be smart.  If its too frigid, stay inside and fix your self some hot low-cal hot chocolate, snuggle up with a good book or watch a movie.  The snow will melt, the temperatures will rise, and you can continue on your path to good health and wellness.

http://steelgym.com

Ken Hunt is an AFI-certified trainer and owner of Steel Gym in New York City. Ken’s articles have been featured in The New York Times, Compete, Horizon Barcelona, LaCosmopolatina, Dignity, Men's Fitness, Genre, HX, Stonewall News and EXIT South Africa, and he’s a frequent guest on Sirius OutQ Radio. Ken also travels the country lecturing on physical fitness and sharing his work-out secrets. He is currently finishing his new book “ The Hunt for Fitness,” working an a new cable TV project. Steel Gym has been named one of the top 5 gyms in the U.S. by Muscle and Fitness Magazine. Steel is also ranked as the "#1 Gym in New York" by the American Fitness Institute for "cost, cleanliness, equipment and service," and has been called "the last real gym left in New York" by famed bodybuilder Victor Martinez. For the second year in a row Steel was awarded both the Talk Of The Town Award for outstanding customer service, and received the New York Award for Physical Fitness. The gym is located at 146 W. 23rd St, New York, NY 212.352.9876 http://www.steelgym.com Steel Gym has been named one of the top 5 gyms in the U.S. by Muscle and Fitness Magazine. Steel is also ranked as the "#1 Gym in New York" by the American Fitness Institute for "cost, cleanliness, equipment and service," and has been called "the last real gym left in New York" by famed bodybuilder Victor Martinez. For the second year in a row Steel was awarded both the Talk Of The Town Award for outstanding customer service, and received the New York Award for Physical Fitness. Steel Gym is located at 146 W. 23rd St, New York, NY http://steelgym.com

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