Conquering the chilly workouts of winter

Mon Jan 16, 2012 5:05am EST
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By Dorene Internicola

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The short days, the weak sun, and the warm beds of winter can wreak havoc on your fitness routine.

As the outside temperature plummets, so too can the will to brave the elements for outdoor exercise. Experts say as long as you layer up, drink up and tune into how cold is just too cold it shouldn't impact your fitness.

"Come with a different game plan for the winter," advises Jessica Matthews, an exercise physiologist with the American Council on Exercise (ACE).

"Motivation tends to wane a bit, so explore different activities, including things you can do in your own home. Have a flexible approach to your fitness routine as the weather changes."

If you're keen to exercise outside in all seasons, says Matthews, learn to dress for workout success.

"Wear layers. That's really important when it's cold outside and make sure you're not becoming wet. Heavy cotton soaks up sweat, so you might want to stick with wool or polyester: something water repellent."

Matthews suggests a first layer of lightweight synthetic.

"The second can be a little heavier, but still avoid heavy cotton," she said.   Continued...

<p>Local residents practise yoga after a snowfall at a park in Wuhan, Hubei province January 6, 2010. REUTERS/Stringer</p>