Tips to Stay Warm During a Cold Weather Workout

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A cold day for a run!

In the winter months, staying warm is on the top of our priority list. But don’t let less desirable weather dampen your motivation to move. Learning how to stay warm when the weather turns chilly will keep your winter workouts from getting stale.
Layer Up
In the winter, it’s all about layers. Exercise generates a lot of heat, so dressing in layers is the key to keeping your body temperature in a desirable range. Keep in mind that stop-and-go activities, such as mixing walking with running, can make you vulnerable to the cold if you repeatedly work up a sweat and then get chilly. Dress in layers that you can remove as soon as you start to sweat, and then put them back on as needed. For the truly cold day, here are a few suggestions:

  • Start off with a moisture wicking top. Synthetic material, such as polypropylene, draws sweat away from your body, unlike cotton, which stays wet next to your skin.
  • Next, wear a long-sleeved, mid-weight, base-layer shirt made from either non-itchy merino wool or polyester.
  • For your feet and lower leg, wear moisture wicking socks that go up to your knee to keep your calves warm, like lightweight ski socks.
  • Wear warm running tights.
  • Over the long-sleeve shirt, wear a fitted, wind-stopping softshell.
  • Wear running gloves or liners to protect your hands.
  • Put on a lightweight hat that so your head doesn’t get too sweaty.
  • Also consider a fleece neck warmer. Not only will it keep your neck and chin warm, but it’ll prevent burning lungs.
  • Facial sunscreen and lip balm with SPF is also a must, as are sunglasses to protect your eyes, since sun reflecting off white snow can be blinding.
  • Of course, you’ll need some good running sneakers.

Warm Up
It’s important to warm up before any workout. Get your blood flowing and muscles loose by warming up indoors first.

Get Outside
Now it’s time to brave the actual workout. Cold-weather workouts present extra challenges:

  • When it’s windy outside, make sure to head into the wind first. It will decrease your chances of frostbite.
  • Roads can be slippery and earlier sunsets can make for darker runs. Invest in a head lamp and reflective gear.
  • Protect your hands, feet, and ears. When it’s cold, blood flow is concentrated on your body’s core, leaving your hands and feet vulnerable to frostbite.

Drink Plenty of Fluids
You need to stay well hydrated when exercising in cold weather, just as you do when exercising in warm weather.

Putting It All Together
Remember to continually monitor how your body feels to help prevent cold-weather injuries, such as frostbite. Consider shortening your outdoor workout or skipping it altogether during weather extremes.

Also, almost everyone can exercise safely during cold weather. But if you have certain conditions, such as asthma, heart problems, or Raynaud’s disease, check with your doctor before you work out in cold weather. Your doctor can review any special precautions you need based on your condition or medications you might take.

Infographic: 33 Ideas to Stay Healthy at Work

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Working in an office setting can be a wellness destroyer. For most of us, we sit too long, we stress constantly, and we eat garbage all day long (stress induced Gummi Bears are my personal Kryptonite). But it doesn’t have to be that way. Since I work in an office, and routinely make unhealthy decisions at work, I decided to ask a boatload of my coworkers how they stay healthy at work. Turns out, my pals had some incredible ideas, and I felt the need to share them with the world. All of these ideas came directly from PacificSource employees (aka “my work homies”). I hope this sparks some ideas for how you can live a healthy life during the daily grind.

If you have more ideas, please share them in our comments. And as always, please share this infographic with anyone looking for a healthy boost at work. Thanks for checking it out!

Check out all of our infographics at: https://millionideas.org/infographics/

A First Timer’s Top 5 Things About Zumba

Zumba-dances-in-as-exercise-trend-LIH3PBR-x-largeWhen it comes to exercise, you have to find what best suits you. As most of us know, it takes some experimenting to find your niche. If you’ve ever thought Zumba might be up your alley, give this a read. One of our employees, Sue, gave Zumba a try and documented her “booty shaking” experience. Check it out here:

The first time I saw a Zumba class in action at my gym, I was intrigued. It looked different—everyone looked like they were having a fun time. And I noticed that there were all ages and all body types (and even men) in the class. I decided to give it a try. Woo, boy! Let me tell you, Zumba is not your grandma’s workout—unless she likes to shake her booty to a world vibe and hip hop club music beat. Yeah, that’s me. I’m all over it.

My first Zumba class was a challenge. In other words, it kicked my behind. The hour went fast—it was fun, not exercise drudgery. I was too busy concentrating on the moves, laughing, woohooing, and having a blast to look at the clock.

Zumba is tons of fun, but it’s a fantastic workout, too. Read an article and watch a video about a fitness study done by the American Council on Exercise (ACE): “Zumba Fitness: Sure It’s Fun But Is it Effective?

After my first few classes, here are my top five favorite things about Zumba:

  1. It’s easy to adapt the moves and workout to your needs and level of fitness. Whether you’re a 20-something or a 50-something (or older), in shape or out of shape, Zumba is for you.
  2. It’s relaxing. About five minutes into the class, I stopped thinking about everything else (work, dishes in the sink, everything). It’s like aerobic meditation.
  3. Inhibitions are optional. Where else in public can you dance while you sing “I’m sexy and I know it”?
  4. The attire. I wear one of those jingly coin, belly dance belts to enhance my booty-shaking experience. (I workout harder, because I want to hear the coins jingle.) I recommend wearing the belt.
  5. It stays interesting and challenging. I really push myself, because it’s so fun. The instructors vary the music and moves, so I never have a chance to get bored, and I get a great whole-body workout every time.