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Gym staff recommends cold-weather workouts

By Alex Salinas | Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph Public Affairs | Nov. 8, 2012

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas — Workout plans and fitness goals don't have to go dormant like Texas landscapes when it gets chilly outside; people can safely prepare for outdoor exercise and "get great workouts in cold weather," a Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph fitness member said.

"The best way to ready yourself for cooler weather while exercising is to wear layers," Rey Salinas, Rambler Fitness Center fitness programs manager, said. "You can peel off layers as the weather or yourself warms up; don't underdress."

The first layer can be made up of polypropylene, a lightweight material that wicks sweat away from the body. The next layers can be cotton or fleece for insulation.

Once the body gets into rhythm and generates heat, people may feel much warmer than the outdoor temperature, which is why it's important to remove layers as workouts become more intensive, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Covering up extremities including the hands and head - where up to 50 percent of body heat is lost - is important to protect the body and manage heat loss in the cold, the Mayo Clinic said.

However, regulating body temperature is heavily dependent on proper hydration, Salinas said.

"Drink water even though your body might not seem like it needs it," he added.

It is recommended to drink ½ to a full cup of water every 15-20 minutes during exercise.

If temperatures are near freezing and below, people don't have to take the risk of exercising outdoors; indoor routines can be established.

"You can cover strength training, flexibility, Pilates, yoga, cardio and agility indoors," Salinas said. "These exercises can be performed with just a few pieces of equipment or a video."

For strength training, dumbbells or exercise bands can be used, he said.

To improve flexibility, stretching exercises incorporating yoga straps and Pilates rings can be beneficial, to name a few.

"For cardio and agility, you can do circuit training with jump ropes and regimens that include burpees, jumping jacks, lunges, jogging in place with high knees, push-ups, sit-ups and planks," Salinas said.