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Exercise

Tips for Cold-Weather Exercising

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People often feel the winter months are an excuse not to workout.

The following are the top five excuses for not exercising in cold weather and why they donít hold water, according to the American Medical Athletic Association.

Iíll freeze my lungs. As freezing air makes its way through your body and down to the lungs, the body warms it up. There is no scientific evidence to show you can freeze your lungs. However, it can be more comfortable to exercise in the cold if you cover your nose and mouth with a scarf.

I canít keep warm. Keeping warm is a lot easier than you might think. Just follow the three-layer principle: wear an inner layer of wool, silk or a synthetic fabric to wick away sweat; an insulating layer of wool or a synthetic fabric to keep the body warm; and an outer layer to provide protection from wind and rain. Most sporting goods stores have a wide selection of outdoor exercise clothing.

Itís not safe. Cold-weather exercise can be safe if you plan ahead. Exercise during the day. The light will help you see icy or hazardous areas while the sun will keep you warmer. If you must exercise when itís dark, avoid high-volume traffic areas and wear bright clothing and reflective strips.

I canít get a decent workout. Many athletes think because you sweat less in the cold, youíre not getting as good a workout. This is not true. In fact, it takes a little more energy to exercise in cold weather than it does in warm weather. Winter is a good time to build a running base, work on steady-state training, or try a new sport such as cross-country skiing.

Itís a hassle. Set your running clothes aside so they are easy to find and put on. Run your usual routine with a warm-up, training run, and a cool down. Then return indoors to stretch. When the temperature drops, set excuses aside and enjoy the pleasures of winter exercise. For more information on cold-weather exercise, visit www.americanrunning.org.


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