Sense Tips For Winter Weather Athletes
and other athletes from colder climates brave the elements
every day to pursue their passion, some looking for a competitive
edge or preparing for the spring and summer seasons. Others
just get a kick out of being the only ones exercising outside
on a cold or snowy day.
the outdoor athlete participating during the winter, having
fresh air in their lungs, even if it's cold air, is always
better than the stale indoor air. It's
like having the whole world to yourself. There's a special
these warriors, outdoor winter activity is more than a sport.
It's a lifestyle defined by tumbling mercury, inclement weather
and shorter daylight hours. The hardiest athletes are often
tested by the frigid, stormy conditions like those seen this
winter in the Northeast — 31 below at Watertown, N.Y.,
minus 12 in Worcester, Mass. — and that's without the
be deterred to run just because it's cold," said Dave
Watt, executive director of the American Running Association.
"Just use some common sense."
say that with the right clothing and sound judgment, it's
OK to keep running or exercising outside even at 20 below.
But they also tell athletes to know their personal limits.
properly is key. Wear layers but don't overdress since your
body will warm up when you exercise. Modern outdoor athletic
gear is lighter and designed not to trap heat and moisture.
To prevent frostbite, athletes should protect extremities,
and wear layers of wicking material like Lycra or microfiber.
Avoid cotton, which tends to stay wet when you sweat.
you are running, don't wear a light-colored outfit that will
blend into a snow bank. Reflective gear and blinking lights
make it easier to be seen. Always run facing traffic and against
slow and work up to speed, making sure your footing is solid
and take shorter strides. Several shoe makers have ridged
or studded running shoes or attachments to improve traction.
up and stretch before and after each run/exercise. Run/exercise
with a buddy or carry a cell phone when running alone.
you're running/exercising for a couple of hours, remember
to wear sunscreen and stay hydrated. Experts recommend carrying
a bottle of water upside down to keep the spout moist and
prevent the water from freezing or wearing a water pack so
that your body heat keeps it from turning into ice.
of the biggest obstacles in the winter for runners is finding
a safe route. When the streets and sidewalks become too dangerous,
consider cross-country ski or winter hiking trails.
conditions are too windy or slippery, turn to other sports
such as skiing or snowshoeing — all of which build other
muscles. Or move indoors and lift weights, use an elliptical
trainer, stationary bike, rowing machine or treadmill.
is a good time to cross-train and build up strength in other
parts of your body," said Bill Roberts, president-elect
of the American College of Sports Medicine and an associate
professor of family medicine at the University of Minnesota.