how to expand your limited wardrobe

Winter Workout Protection To Help You Safely Exercise Outside

by Rene Mitchelle

Exercising year-round is important for keeping your body healthy and your mood happy. Unfortunately, winter temperatures outside can make exercising outdoors a little more difficult, uncomfortable, and even dangerous. Here are some tips to help you continue your winter exercise outside while protecting you from the elements.

Protect Your Body's Core Temperature

Completing your exercise outside during winter can help keep your workouts interesting, and the cold air can increase your pulse. An increase in your pulse causes your blood to pump quicker and requires your body to burn more calories to keep its temperature at a normal range. With this benefit to working out outdoors during winter, you also need to make sure to keep your core temperature from falling too low. You can do this by wearing the right layers of clothing to protect your body during your workout.

Before you begin your workout, be sure to put on a base layer of clothing made of polypropylene or similar synthetic material, under your other clothing layers. This type of material stretches to allow free movement during your workout and will help keep your body dry when you begin to sweat, as it pulls sweat from your skin to keep your skin from becoming chilled. A long-sleeved performance shirt and shorts or pants work great for this protective layer. Over the top of this layer, wear a thick layer of fleece covered by a breathable waterproof layer. This combination of layers allows you to remove and replace the clothing as your body warms up and cools back down. To learn more about performance shirts, contact companies like Over Under Clothing.

Protect Your Skin

In addition to considering the cold temperatures of winter, you need to consider the sun and its exposure to your skin. Although it is winter, your body can still be burned by the sun's rays if you are exposed to them for too long. Protect your skin from too much of the sun's ultraviolet rays by applying sunscreen. But keep in mind that some exposure to the sun can be beneficial to your health by helping your body produce vitamin D.

Your body receives approximately 80 to 90 percent of its vitamin D from exposure to the sun's light. It can be difficult to get the adult recommended 600 to 800 International Units (IU) of recommended daily vitamin D by eating a healthy diet. So, as you are outside exercising, give yourself some time to soak up vitamin D before protecting your skin from the dangers of the sun's ultraviolet rays.

Allowing any uncovered area of your skin to soak in the sun's rays for 10 to 15 minutes before you apply sun screen can help boost your body's daily vitamin D exposure. After this time in the sun, apply sunscreen to any unprotected skin, such as your face, neck, ears, and hands.

Protect Your Extremities

In addition to protecting your body's core from hypothermia, you need to protect your ears, toes, and fingers from frostbite. Frostbite can occur when the temperature is too low, and it causes the skin on these areas to freeze, resulting in a numbness, loss of feeling or a stinging sensation. Because your body's blood flow is concentrated in your body's core to keep it warm, your fingers, toes, nose and ears can have less blood flow and become cold easier.

Prevent frostbite on your fingers by wearing polypropolene gloves covered by heaver, lined gloves or mittens while you exercise. Select shoes that are slightly larger than your foot size to allow space for thicker socks or two layers of regular socks to protect your toes from frostbite. Wear a hat or other ear covering to protect your ears from frostbite.