Cold weather exercises in winter always requires that little bit of extra willpower and motivation, especially when coming from a toasty warm bed or the coziness of your home.
You could just go to the gym or stay at home and work out in the living room. But we all know that isn’t quite the same as getting out and enjoying the outdoors. Nothing can replace the thrill of forging your own path. Besides, there are benefits to outdoor physical activity, especially during winter. With the right preparation and equipment, cold weather exercising can be extremely mentally and physically rewarding, motivating you to get out of the house.
However, winter isn’t always the friendliest time to exercise, and we should head out with caution and protection. We got you covered. Follow these steps and exercise comfortably in winter.
5 Tips for Protecting Your Lungs in Cold Weather
Wash your hands frequently.
Bacteria spread through the mucous membranes of the eyes, nose, and mouth. If the virus is on our hands and touching our faces, we are almost certain to get sick for a day or two at the office.
Cover your nose and mouth with a neck warmer or sports mask when you go out in the cold.
Cold air is often dry air and can irritate the airways in people with asthma, COPD, or bronchitis. This can cause wheezing, coughing and shortness of breath. Check Winter Face Coverings here.
You have to cover your airways. Why? Because breathing in wintertime can be excruciating. Cold air entering our throats and lungs can burn and make it hard to continue. As the single most important key to successful exercise (in any season) is breathing, anything that prevents effective breathing has to be dealt with. The frigid air can cause asthma-like symptoms in any athlete, no matter how healthy they are.
Here’s why you feel the burn in winter.
When cold, dry air enters your airways as you breathe quickly during cold weather exercises, your trachea begins to dry out and tighten, which causes shortness of breath and discomfort. The longer you breathe cold air, the more you will feel your chest tighten. Also, your body will begin to function less efficiently due to oxygen deprivation.
To avoid burning airways, the air you inhale must be warmed. Your respiratory system delivers its optimum performance when the air you inhale is heated and humidified before it enters the lungs. However, the only way to do this is to cover your airways, which can be uncomfortable and even hinder breathing.
Wearing a comfortable, functional mask that covers your nose and mouth is key to ensuring warm air enters your system. To further help prevent feeling the effects of the cold, also cover your ears and neck.
Dress warm and stay dry.
A cold actually makes you more susceptible to pneumonia and other respiratory infections.
We talked about breathing in through the nose, warming the air, and preventing the burn. But the other side of the breathing coin is breathing out, the exhale. In wintertime and while wearing a face covering, this poses its own set of problems. While we exercise, we breathe faster and that speed combined with a mouth covering can lead to moisture building inside scarves or masks. Many sportspeople complain about wet masks making their necks and faces cold. This can lead to the moisture freezing and becoming unbearable.
In order to make exhaling as comfortable as possible, NAROO MASK fabric has been designed to allow moisture to disperse quickly even in sub-zero temperatures, instead of absorbing moisture like other materials. This is called a moisture-wicking system that helps you stay dry in the freezing cold. NAROO will help you breathe easily and stay warm and dry.
Be careful with the wood burning fireplace and stay hydrated.
While it may seem like a great way to warm up, smoke and fumes from fireplaces can be irritating for people with asthma, allergies, and other lung ailments.
It is especially important to stay hydrated in winter because it may feel like you’re not thirsty and not sweating. But your body is in just as much need of water as in every other season. Drink at least 30 minutes before you head out and if you’re going far, bring some with you to stay hydrated along the way. Dehydration can make your body struggle, which includes your airways. Prevent any undue difficulty by drinking enough.
If you have asthma or COPD, always keep your inhaler nearby.
If you have trouble breathing, stop working immediately and use your inhaler as usual.
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