Source: Renaissance Fitness And Wellness
It does seem that just when we need to work off our holiday weight gain, the mercury falls and determination to go outside decreases. Must we stay indoors, sentenced to three months of treadmills, elliptical trainers and stationary bikes with no time off for bad weather? Let me respond to you with an old Norwegian saying: “There is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothes.”
First, your clothes keep you warm, right? Wrong…it’s the air trapped next to your skin that is the first layer of defense. Second, water transports heat away from your body 25 times faster than air does, so it’s critical to remain dry in order to stay warm. Third, the outside or ambient temperature does not reveal the entire story: wind speed reduces your body’s ability to retain heat trapped by your clothes. Last, whatever part of your body is left unprotected is where heat will escape.
Your hat should be windproof, waterproof and cover your ears. A scarf or mask will keep your face comfortable as well as pre-warm and moisten the air you breathe. This is especially important if you have asthma or allergies triggered by cold. Clothing works best when used in layers, as each layer traps a different stratum of air.
Long underwear should be made of material designed to wick perspiration away from the body. Shirts, sweaters and vests are effective insulating layers, especially when worn in combinations. Wool and polar fleece provide good insulation and add minimal weight. Avoid cotton and fabrics that absorb moisture and keep it next to your skin. Your outermost layer of clothing should provide protection from rain, snow, and wind. GORE-TEX and many new high tech fabrics allow your body to breathe, which allows perspiration to evaporate as well as provide great protection.
It is important to keep hands and feet warm and dry in order to prevent frostbite and have full use of your body. Cold temperatures will cause blood to be shunted away from extremities to the body’s core. So the first step in having warm extremities is to keep your torso warm. Boots and gloves should be insulated and breathable.
Socks made of wool or a high tech fabric that is both warm and wicking make good sense. My personal favorites are alpaca socks from Dahlgren as well as silk and wool socks from Winter Silks. On days where the temperature falls below zero, thermal liners for gloves and socks will add even more protection from cold. Don’t forget to apply lip balm and moisturizer to exposed skin. Glasses or goggles will reduce the effect of wind on your eyes.
by Joe Stein, B.S., M.B.A., a motivational speaker, certified personal trainer, health and lifestyle coach, and owner of Renaissance Fitness & Wellness. Call 732-345-5151 or email at Joe @ Joe-TrainerSpeaks.com for more information.