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Here's how to survive cold weather workouts

 

"I'm totally going to run today," you told yourself. And then you looked outside and discovered a sheet of icy or snow or even just some foreboding clouds. You could skip your workouts from now until spring...or just follow our guide to bundling up and actually have a blast during your frigid workout.

1. Keep your mind sunny. You hate the cold. Don't let that stop you. In certain parts of the country it's not going to warm up for months. You could be bummed out about it...or just embrace the chilly weather as a way to challenge yourself. We're not saying to *freeze* out there (more secrets for staying warm soon), but simply accepting that cold days are a thing and not letting them deter you from exercise is huge.

2. Layer up. When it's chilly out, you're going to want to wear a smart base layer. Think: spandex on the bottom and a sweat-wicking top (we like Under Armour's Cold Gear). Plain old cotton t-shirts can leave the sweat on your body, so skip them. Then, add on from there. If the temperatures are hovering around freezing (32 degrees), you'll want to pull on a hat, gloves and a fleece up top. It's tempting to pile on every single thing you own, but you can overheat on cold days. If it's really below freezing, make sure your finger tips and nose are covered (and that it's actually safe to go outside!).

3. Stay hydrated. It's easy to drink H20 all day when the sun is beating down on you. But when it's icy? It's harder to keep the waterbottle handy. Start sipping in the morning and drink plenty of water all day. It'll keep you feeling way better than if you're parched.

4. Warm up right. It's tough to leave the cozy comfort of your house for the icy air. We like warming up before we even leave the house. Consider five minutes of yoga, a few jumping jacks or one of these dynamic routines. Getting a little bit of a sweat going makes the rest of your workout easier on your muscles. 

5. Be safe. Given how early the sun sets, it's important to get your run in while it's still light out. If it's been raining or snowy, be super careful and stay on cleared sidewalks or (better!) a local track. If it's *really* cold out, check the weather to see if there are any warnings about spending time outdoors. Oh, and if you have asthma? Check with your doctor before running on super chilly days. (The cold air can be tough on your lungs, so it's key to talk to your doc if you are prone to shortness of breath.)

Do you exercise outside when it's cold outside? What are your tricks for staying warm? 

Additonal reporting by Jeanne Jarvis-Gibson 

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by GL | 2/1/2016
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