A Cold-Weather Workout

Newsweek—February 16, 2008

Baby, it’s cold outside. But don’t let that stop you from exercising outdoors. TIP SHEET spoke to Dr. Robert Marx of Hospital for Special Surgery in New York for ideas on how to stay warm.

Bundle up. Dress in layers and choose your materials carefully. Make sure your outer layer is made from materials that repel wind and precipitation, like microfiber or Gore-Tex. Don’t wear cotton next to your skin, as it traps moisture and causes your body to lose heat faster. Opt instead for moisturewicking fabrics, which keep you drier.

Decrease the intensity. When your muscles are cool, they are weaker, decreasing your power and speed. “You just can’t do in the real cold what you can when it’s warm,” says Marx. “If you normally run five miles in 40 minutes, don’t plan on it.”

Alter your routine. Have a longer warm-up to better heat your body. Exercise in the afternoon, when temperatures are at their peak. Then get warm at home and be glad you didn’t use the cold as an excuse to hibernate.

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