Category Archives: cold weather exercising

5 Benefits of exercising outdoors

I wanted to reproduce this very simple infographic because I think it is accurate, helpful and meets my bias of not liking working out indoors at the health club. That doesn’t mean that you can’t do it and get worthwhile health benefits. I just really prefer doing it outdoors.

Benefits+of+Outdoor+Exercise+Infographic.jpeg

Tony

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Filed under cardio exercise, cold weather exercising, Exercise, exercise benefits, outdoor exercise

Are colder temps healthier? MNT

Although Chicago has had some spring like temperatures in the past week, this is December and colder readings are on the way. Personally, while I don’t like to feel the cold, I do like the fact that I can insulate myself with another layer of clothing and still enjoy the outdoors. As regular readers know, I ride my bike here year ’round.

Here’s what Medical News Today has to say about colder temps.

Running athlete man, working out and training for box match

Winter’s here now, temperatures are dropping, and chances are that it’ll get even colder. All that most of us want to do is cozy up indoors with a mug of hot tea and a heartwarming movie, but do cold temperatures bring us any health benefits? If so, what are they? We investigate.

Research has suggested that cool temperatures could bring a range of health benefits, and that we shouldn’t always shun exposure to cold. In this article, we give you an overview of some of these reported benefits.

The cold can boost sleep quality

Our bodies follow a circadian rhythm that self-regulates eating, sleeping, and activity patterns according to day-night cycles, thereby allowing us to function normally. Researchers have found that a dysregulation of circadian rhythms can lead to a disrupted sleep, which, in turn, can lead to a number of health problems.

Studies that were recently covered by Medical News Today have found that insomnia and other sleep disorders can impair our perception and cognitive function and heighten the risk of kidney disease and diabetes.

Research has revealed that, when we fall asleep, our body temperature begins to drop. Insomniacs, however, seem unable to regulate body heat appropriately, leading to difficulties in falling asleep.

This is where external temperatures come in. One study experimented with “cooling caps” — that is, headwear that keeps the sleeper’s head at cooler temperatures — and found that insomniacs benefited from the exposure, which allowed them to enjoy a better night’s sleep.

Current sleep guidelines — supported by existing research — suggest that the ideal temperature in our bedrooms as we prepare to go to sleep should be somewhere between 60 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit.

The bottom line is that you shouldn’t be freezing cold, of course — that won’t really help your sleep — but moderately cool environments might do the trick. Continue reading

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Filed under cold season, cold weather, cold weather biking, cold weather exercising, Weight, weight control

Some tips for biking in cold weather …

“The hawk is back.” That’s what we Chicagoans say when temperatures turn cold here. I woke up to 22F degrees the other morning. Mid November is a bit early for such temps, but if you want to ride your bike, you deal with it. By the way, when temps fall to sub zero, the expression is, “The hawk is back … and he brought his whole damn family.”

So, winter seems to have come early to Chicago.

Whether you ride a bike or not, I think you will find some useful info here.

From the Toronto Star

The Wall Street Journal a while back had a cleverly written item on Your Outdoor Sports Survival Guide, by Jason Gay. He aptly describes “the maniacal joy of Survival Season,” and observes “Nobody looks suave playing sports in the freezing cold. If you are doing it correctly, you look a little unhinged and suspicious. Are you going to play golf…or rob the Bank of Alaska?”
Continue reading

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How dangerous is it to shovel snow?

I recently wrote about the beginning of flu season. Well, what goes hand in hand with flu season? Cold weather and snow shoveling. Hopefully, you have gotten a flu shot by now and are set up to face flu season. I just wanted to remind you that you need to use your brain as well as your back when it comes to shoveling snow.

For many of us the onset of snow shoveling season is just around the corner.. Please be aware that in terms of your body shoveling snow is not a totally innocent activity. While I strongly support calorie burning exercises to build up your cardiovascular system and other benefits, it is important to know your limits. If you are not currently working out or don’t consider yourself to be “in condition,” please think twice before you grab that snow shovel and race out to clear the walk. The American Journal of Emergency Medicine reported that more than 195,000 people were treated in U.S. Emergency Rooms for snow-shovel-related incidents from 1990 to 2006. This is an average of 11,500 individuals per year. Keep in mind that this information only covers folks who actually went to the ER for treatment. Plenty more stayed home and nursed their wounds …. About 2/3 of these incidents occurred among males. Children younger than 18 made up 15.3% of the cases. Older adults (above 55 years) accounted for more than 20%. Continue reading

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Filed under cold weather exercising, Exercise, exercise duration, outdoor exercise, overexercising, snow shoveling

Bear up, don’t hibernate in cold weather – Harvard

Despite global warming, Chicago, where I live, has been suffering from some serious winter weather. I can pretty much ride my bike year ’round here, but I draw the line at single digits. I haven’t been able to find a mask that protects my face from frostbite and at the same time, doesn’t leak my breath up into my glasses – fogging them. Living in a high rise building, I can usually take to the stairs and still get in a workout, with the benefit of weight-bearing exercise, to boot. There is also a health club downstairs, but I really don’t enjoy them.

For those of you who may have similar wintertime woes, Harvard has some suggestions for keeping yourself healthy.

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1. Make some soup

Instead of a snow day baking sweet treats, try making a big batch of soup. You can experiment with different ingredients all winter long, providing you with a healthy distraction from the cold and an endless source of nutritious, warm meals.

Want to increase the fun factor? Try a “Soup Swap” with friends, where everyone makes a different type and divides it into batches for easy sharing. Continue reading

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Cold Weather Cycling Tips

Regular readers know that I ride year ’round here in Chicago. Through November, we barely cracked 40 degrees F which didn’t call for much extra prep beyond gloves and ear covering. Come December, however, with the advent of the 30s and below a whole new dimension of cycling wear opens up. Whether you ride a bike or not, I think you will find some useful info here.

From the Toronto Star

A recent Wall Street Journal had a cleverly written item on Your Outdoor Sports Survival Guide, by Jason Gay. He aptly describes “the maniacal joy of Survival Season,” and observes “Nobody looks suave playing sports in the freezing cold. If you are doing it correctly, you look a little unhinged and suspicious. Are you going to play golf…or rob the Bank of Alaska?”
Continue reading

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Filed under biking, cold weather, cold weather biking, cold weather exercising, Exercise, outdoor exercise

Top 10 Ways To Stay Healthy This Winter — Our Better Health

It seems that no matter how well I plan to take it easy during the holidays, I still end up feeling exhausted when they’re over. Even though I try to avoid malls and holiday traffic all together, it seems that even the cooking and laughing and staying up late are enough to leave me feeling […]

via Top 10 Ways To Stay Healthy This Winter — Our Better Health

I thought you would enjoy this very timely list of ideas and actions this holiday season.

Eat less; move more; live longer.

Tony

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Filed under cardio exercise, cold weather exercising, Exercise

Cold Weather Cycling Tips

I am reblogging this from 2011 as I have updated it and it has a lot of useful info for folks who are into outdoor activities.

Tony

One Regular Guy Writing about Food, Exercise and Living Past 100

Regular readers know that I ride year ’round here in Chicago. Through November, we barely cracked 40 degrees F which didn’t call for much extra prep beyond gloves and ear covering. Come December, however, with the advent of the 30s a whole new dimension of cycling wear opens up. Whether you ride a bike or not, I think you will find some useful info here.

From the Toronto Star Thursday’s Wall Street Journal had a cleverly written item on Your Outdoor Sports Survival Guide, by Jason Gay. He aptly describes “the maniacal joy of Survival Season,” and observes  “Nobody looks suave playing sports in the freezing cold. If you are doing it correctly, you look a little unhinged and suspicious. Are you going to play golf…or rob the Bank of Alaska?”

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