Cold-Weather Tips for EcoTrek Sessions in Winter
The beauty of running and walking is that you can do it year 'round. Cold temperatures are no reason to halt your routine, but you should follow certain guidelines and precautions.
1. Have no fear of working out in the cold. The lungs warm air sufficiently as it enters your body.
2. Cover your head and hands. The majority of the body's heat is lost through the extremities.
3. Dress in thin layers. The layer next to your skin should be made from a breathable fabric, such as polypropylene, which wicks away moisture from perspiration.
4. Shop for technical fabrics. From jackets to leggings to socks, these clothes pay off in making fall & winter exercise more comfortable. Polypropylene in socks, shirts, and tights provide breathability and wick moisture, while Gore-Tex (water resistant) and polar fleece in outerwear help retain heat.
5. Avoid overdressing; you'll warm up with exercise. A good rule of thumb is to dress as though it were warmer outside than it really is: 10 degrees warmer in winter, 20 degrees warmer in spring, summer and fall.
Be aware that it takes about two weeks to adjust to climatic extremes. Try warming up & stretching indoors before going out, if possible. Keep your outdoor workouts enjoyable by exercising with a group... other EcoTrekkers!
Should I Do EcoTrek Even Though I'm Sick?
Use Your Common Sense.
How do we know when we are fine to exercise and when it is not such a good idea? The general rule is that if the illness is above your throat, you can exercise, but if it is in your chest, you should not exercise. It's a good rule of thumb, but is a rather limited definition. So when you just aren't sure if you should exercise through your illness, use these questions to help you decide. (Also, remember that the final decision is between you and your body. Let common sense be your guide!)
1. Did you feel like going to work or school or doing chores today?
If no, you probably should not exercise. There was a rule we always had when we were growing up: If we had to stay home sick from school, we had to stay home sick from everything else. Along that line, if you weren't well enough to go to work or do whatever it was you should have been doing on a normal day, then you shouldn't be well enough to exercise. Also, if you did go to work and you felt horrible all day, you probably shouldn't be pushing yourself by exercising, when you could be resting.
2. Do you have a fever?
If yes, then you should not exercise! It's kind of a common sense thing here; if your body can't control your temperature when you are not working out, then exercising is only going to exasperate that effect. The rule of thumb for exercising while sick is called the above/below the neck rule. If your symptoms appear above the neck (runny nose, sneezing, sore throat) then yes, you can continue with a low-intensity workout. If your symptoms are below the neck (diarrhea, intense coughing, vomiting, fever), then the American College of Sports Medicine suggests you let your illness run its course before resuming physical activity.
If you have any condition which would impair or limit your ability to engage in physical activity, please consult a physician before attempting this activity. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment.
Cari Draft | EcoTrek Owner & Founder