Fall is here bringing with it shorter days and darker mornings, less daylight to exercise outdoors and cooler temperatures to exercise in. In the summer we have to plan our workouts to make sure that we miss the heat (or at least survive in it) but come fall and winter we need to practice different strategies. Here are a few things to consider as we transfer seasons.
Make sure you are drinking water. Due to the cooler temperatures we will have less of an urge to drink water but our bodies still need it. We continue to sweat all year long and physiologically our bodies need water to function (breathing, digestion, etc) so H2O consumption is a must. Try drinking warm water with lemon in the morning to warm you up and keep a jug of water nearby that is stored at room temperature, making it easier to drink on a cold day.
When training outdoors dress in layers. In the fall it can take longer for your body to warm up so dress in layers but as you warm up you will want to strip those layers away and tie them around your waist. I am someone who becomes extremely hot when I exercise so I start with a long sleeve technical shirt over a tank top and a pair of long tights. If it is really cold I might wear a running hat and gloves (which come off quickly). If you are someone who stays cold add a light weight breathable jacket, like this one from Adidas and a toque. If you are training in cold climates you will need to invest in insulated outer wear, something like this Solomon Jacket and these Sugoi tights. My favourite trick is putting your workout clothing in the dryer for a few minutes before you head out so you are extra toasty until your body begins to heat up. Stay away from cotton, especially for your base layer, and try to wear a wicking garment which will keep the sweat off of your skin.
Pack dry clothes to wear home. Never leave the gym, or your workout, in sweaty clothing. If you have time to shower after your workout I highly recommend that but if your time is limited pack a dry outer layer to wear home and remove all of your wet clothing.
A lot of us shy away from getting outdoors as fall and winter approach so this year take the necessary steps needed to ensure you can continue enjoying what mother nature has to offer. If you walk, run, hike or ride your bike in the summer there is no reason you have to stop as the days get shorter and cooler. Simply ensure that you are drinking water, you are dressed appropriately, your outer layer is reflective, strap a blinking light to your running hat, install a headlight on your bike and for added safety hit the streets or trails with a buddy or two. And try a hot yoga class; nothing warms you up on a cool evening like sweating it out in downward dog and warrior pose in a room that is 105 degrees!
Attached - Hilary Duff at the gym the other day.