Staying Safe Outside

5326099-2400x1600Is working out inside as boring as watching paint dry for you? There is no reason you cannot continue to exercise outside as the weather cools off and we lose daylight. Two keys to outdoor exercise in the winter are being visible to oncoming motorists, whether running or cycling, and your own personal comfort.

Gear for Running

  •  Headlamp – It keeps your hands free, and is always pointed in the direction you are going.
  •  Safety Vest (or Reflective Jacket) – Allows you to be seen from the front and back.
  • Yak-Tracks – Cleats for your shoes that allow you to run or walk in icy conditions.
  • Balaclava or Face Mask – Covers mouth so you breathe in warmer air, and prevent your face from chapping.
  • Gor-Tex Gloves or Mittens – Gor-Tex is wind-proof, waterproof and highly-breathable material.  For me this is a must have because if my hands hurt from the cold it is no longer enjoyable.
  • Moisture Wicking Clothing – Including socks, pants/tights, underwear/sports bras, shirts and winter hats.

Gear for Cycling

  • White Headlight – Either mounted to your handlebars or your helmet. Look for a minimum of 300 Lumens if riding in the road.
  • Rail Tail-Light – May flash or stay lit. This type of light makes you visible from behind.
  • Shoe Covers – If you are wearing cycling shoes you know they are highly breathable, which also means that cold air gets in a lot easier. Toe covers or shoe covers protect your feet from the elements and block the wind.
  • Lobster Gloves – Kind of a glove-mitten; the ring and pinky fingers are together in one finger as are the middle and pointer fingers in another finger. The thumb remains separate for gripping the bars.
  • Wind Breaker Jacket – Wear a bright color with reflective decals and there is no need for a vest.
  • Head Gear – Balaclava or face mask protect the face; you can also find ear warmers to be worn under the helmet that allows warm air to escape and actual helmet covers that essentially closes the vents in your helmet. As the weather gets colder more protection is needed.
  • Clothing – Dress in layers with moisture wicking clothing closest to the skin and cotton or wool on top of that. Cycling specific clothing has wind protection in key areas like the thighs and shoulders.

Do you have another favorite piece of “winter gear?” Please share with our readers.

About Sarah Schultz

Sarah is a Licensed Athletic Trainer at Sports, Spine and Work Center. She provides Athletic Training services at Campbellsport High School and provides Industrial Services to the community through WorkSTEPS testing, the Work Hardening Program and doing ergonomic evaluations. She is an avid cyclist and barefoot runner. Sarah’s other interests include dynamic stretching, core strengthening, rehabilitation, muscle recovery techniques, and sports nutrition.

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