Wednesday, January 21, 2009

It's cold and snowy - get outside and have fun!

It's been very cold in New York City this January. It's currently 22 degrees outside and everyone is complaining that it's too cold to exercise outdoors. No, it is not! All you need to do is dress appropriately and get moving.

The key to comfort is dressing appropriately in layers. What activity do you want to do? Walk, run, ski...? Whatever it is, make sure your first layer is NOT cotton. Cotton absorbs moisture and keeps it there, so if you sweat, you'll be cold and wet. There are so many types of undershirts designed for movement in the cold that will absorb moisture and wick it away. This way you stay comfortable even if you perspire. Wear layers so you can take them off if you get hot, or add them on if you are cold. Start out a little cold - as you move, your body heat will increase and before you know it, you'll be comfortable in the 20 degree temperature.

My favorite activity when it is cold and snowy is cross country skiing. The past 2 weekends, I went skiing at Fahnestock Winter Park, located near Cold Spring, NY. It is only 1 hour north of New York City. They rent skis and snow shoes. The trails are groomed for nordic and skate skiing. It's a great all body workout. Not only do you get exercise, but you are in a beautiful location breathing the fresh winter air. Cross country skiing is something you can comfortably do when it is very cold and windy. Since you are in the trees, the wind is not a factor. And it's a full body workout, so your body stays warm. Make sure you wear layers and start out somewhat cool because before you know it, you'll be warm. Here is the link for more information regarding Fahnestock:

It is also a family activity. I took my 11 year old son with me and it was his first time cross country skiing. He loved it. Make sure you bring water and snacks with you because you may be out longer than you expect. Keep drinking so you don't get dehydrated. And have a snack if you are out for more than one hour. This is especially important if you are skiing with children. They get dehydrated easily. Keep it fun for the kids. Stop and play in the snow every now and then so they enjoy the activity and want to do it again. Fahnestock also has a sliding hill which is a great activity after skiing. They rent tubes if you don't bring a sled.

Enjoy the winter and the activities that you can only do in this season.

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