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.

Walking and Running Their Way to a Healthy Lifestyle – The Ponderosa Pacers

IMG_9406Jennifer Stoor, a Physical Education teacher, created a culture of healthy and active living at Ponderosa Elementary School in the West Ada School District. She started a program in 2002 designed to teach kids at an early age that running, walking, and living an active lifestyle feels good. It’s called the Ponderosa Pacers!

Students line up at recess to run and walk around their track – some kids run or walk 1-2 miles during recess. For each completed lap students get a marker which they then take back to the classroom where teachers use them in other daily lessons like math.  This year the Pacers have already gone more than 40,000 miles!

Students that participate in the Pacer program significantly improve their one-mile run time by the end of the school year.  Nearly half of the students qualify as “advanced” in the President’s Fitness Challenge.

Healthy and active living has spread far beyond the outside track at Ponderosa Elementary. Jennifer has helped to improve the lunch room environment as well, adorning it with posters of famous athletes and making healthy food options are easily found.  When the healthy choice is the easy choice and the cool choice, everyone wins!  Students have also taken their healthy lifestyle tips home to parents who are now making healthier food choices for their families and becoming more active as a family.  So, parents are losing weight and reaping the benefits as well!

The Pacer program is about improving the overall well- being of our youth. Students who were once overweight are now losing weight and gaining self-confidence. The kids that don’t have a lot of friends are able to join in on the cool thing to do during recess.  Students are able to set goals of how many miles they want to walk and feel the pride of achieving that victory.

In the end students will find that physical activity isn’t something to be dreaded but something to look forward to.  At an early age they have made healthy life choices that will sustain them as they age.

Ponderosa Elementary is currently raising money to build a new quarter-mile track.  The track they currently have is narrow and not conveniently located on the school grounds.  For more information or to find out how you can help, please contact Jennifer Stoor at 208.283.8337

Staying Active With The Capitol Classic

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PacificSource was the presenting sponsor of the 2014 Saint Alphonsus Capitol Classic – A Children’s Race. This past weekend a sea of bright orange racers filled Capitol Boulevard as kids, ages 6 to 14, raced from the Boise Train Depot to the Idaho State Capitol.

Some great festivities awaited both kids and parents down at Capitol Park. PacificSource had a fun obstacle course as well as photo stand-ins for people to capture ways to be active outdoors.

It was so great to see so many kids starting their summer break in such an active way. We hope that both kids and their parents are able to find some fun ways to stay play together this summer; here’s a link to ten ways you can be more active as a family.

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