It’s no secret that the days are getting shorter as winter creeps in.  The dark, paired with the cold, might feel like a built in excuse to hibernate, but your body will remain in optimal condition if you keep it moving throughout these darker (and colder!) days.  No gym membership required, because the beautiful PNW has a lot to offer when it comes to options to get outside.

However, sometimes the weather can (literally) dampen your plans to get active outside. While you can’t change the weather, you can work with the seasons by learning how to dress in conditions that might normally stand in your way. To help you stay active—and safe—all year round, we’ve compiled some of our best tips on what to wear when exercising in cold weather, heat, rain, sleet, or snow.

Stinging in your ears, numb or tingling fingers, watery eyes, and burning lungs are all signs that you’re working outside of your body’s optimal ambient temperature. When this happens, your body concentrates blood flow around your vital organs and limits the blood flow to your extremities (like your arms and legs), which can impair muscle function.

When exercising in adverse cold weather, layering properly is the most important thing you can do. People don’t realize how much they can actually sweat when exercising in the cold. Once the base layer gets wet, it will be tough to get and stay warm. For this reason alone we recommend avoiding cotton, which can absorb sweat rather than wicking it away, and instead using sweat-wicking materials such as wool or a polyester blend.  

There is the importance of not overdressing as well. When you exercise, you will warm up, even if you are freezing to start. Sometimes a long-sleeve base layer with a vest (which helps keep the core warm) is all you need. A good guideline is to dress like it’s 20 degrees warmer, because even if it doesn’t feel like it at the start, you will warm up quickly.  

Clothing for cold weather exercise typically includes three layers:

  • An inner layer that wicks moisture and is in direct contact with the skin
  • A middle layer to provide insulation
  • An outer layer, such as a light jacket, that offers wind resistance

Once you have your own layering system planned, feel free to add a hat or a scarf, or even a snug ear band to keep your ears toasty warm.  You pick what works for you!

The holidays bring a wonderful opportunity for us to gather with people we love.  Consider taking some of those gatherings outdoors for a healthy walk or jog.  The gift of health and fellowship is one that never goes out of style, and is of immeasurable value.  We, at Momentum Chiropractic, want to wish you a joyful and blessed holiday season.  We’d love to be part of your journey.