To Your Health

Cold–weather workouts: dress code

Don’t let winter’s chill keep you inside and inactive. You may find cold weather a challenge that actually enhances your exercise. Follow these guidelines to stay safe and comfortable and have fun.

Dress in layers to keep your body’s core warm. Cold temperatures, moisture, and high wind cause your body to lose heat. Lock in body warmth by wearing 3 clothing layers: a thin, wicking (absorbing), non–cotton layer; an insulating layer; and a protective shell layer.

Always wear a hat to reduce heat loss. In severe weather, cover your ears with a headband and use glove liners under a pair of heavier gloves.

Wear trail or running shoes with enough traction to prevent slipping, and enough space to allow for thermal socks.

Warm up before going outside to prevent strains, which can occur when muscles are cold. Once outdoors, quickly pick up your pace to stay warm and burn more calories.

For safety, wear reflective gear after dark. Carry a cell phone for emergencies. Shorten your outdoor workout or skip it during extreme cold, and know when to head home and warm up.


Today’s cold–weather clothing is made of materials designed to insulate and protect your body from cold temperatures, without being bulky or reducing your mobility.

Note: Cotton is not a recommended fabric for outdoor clothing in very cold, wet weather.

“Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well.”

— 3 John 1:2

Outsmart Winter Weight Gain

For many folks, it starts with the winter holidays. We add pounds celebrating with month–long buffets, irresistible desserts, and drinks. This can also be a stressful, busy time when we lose the incentive to fix healthful meals and to exercise.

Don’t let your attitude weigh you down in the coming months. Instead, focus on your health and some simple changes.

Eat for energy. Smart food choices can help reduce fatigue and control your hunger and stress levels. Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein sources, as well as drinking water, provide sustained fuel.

Keep track. For a few days to spot diet patterns, record what you eat and drink, how much, and when. For example, if you tend to binge on snacks in mid–afternoon, make sure you keep healthier choices handy.

High–energy snack picks:

  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt with fruit
  • ½ ounce nuts and seeds
  • Nut butter with vegetable sticks
  • Sliced turkey with bean dip

Try frequent, small meals and snacks. People who do tend to have steadier energy and a lower likelihood of weight gain than people who eat 2 large meals a day.

Plan meals and schedule your exercise — fit in something physical every day; write it down if it helps. Being active throughout your day can reduce stress and curb overeating.

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