Warming Up During A Cold Snap
February 12, 2010
You can drink some hot cocoa. You can wear your thermal underwear, build a fire in the fireplace, do shots of whiskey or turn the thermostat up. All of these strategies will help you take the edge off the cold weather. But the most authentic body warming technique to get yourself and keep yourself warm has always been and always will be EXERCISE.
Put your hands on your cheeks right now. Are your fingers cold? Try 20 push ups and check your cheeks once again, I bet those fingers are warmer.
I’m speaking just from a “warming up your tootsies” angle but there is even more scientific reasoning for exercising, even in the winter.
“If you can’t walk a quarter mile in five minutes, the chance that you’ll be dead in three years is three times higher than if you can’t. It’s a BIG deal.” This is what I remember Oprah’s guru of health, Dr. Oz, saying one day last season. It was such a powerful statement to me that it stuck in the part of my brain that remembers things I want to remember, like the 2 days a month my cleaning lady, Saint Vicky comes or the entire published workout routine of President-to-be Obama or like the date my year end bonus is put through. Important minutae, I call it. Sometimes the snow sticks, sometimes it melts. Same with my brain.
Exercise will keep you alive and alert for longer than if you don’t do it. That should be your intrinisic reason for exercising, but if not, you can do it to just warm yourself up, both motivations get the job done.
When the snow piles up, the way it has around town this past week, the one way to keep your inner thermostat revved up is through exercise.
I know that getting to the gym is a pain in the glutes. Putting on exercise gear, then a few outer layers, then trudging to the car, scraping it down, holding but trying not to touch a steering wheel as cold as ice, then making it to the health club- ain’t for sissies.
But if you can break a sweat on the days it falls into the single digit weather zone, then your body will thank you. Your mind will be clearer and the winter slime, as it’s known around our house, will vanish.
It’s good for your skin too. When the temperature drops, my skin starts feeling like sandpaper. And I’ve never been good with following the directions on the labels of all my moisturizers. I end up putting night cream on in the daytime, eye cream on my cheeks, face cream on my legs, foot cream on my hands and chapstick under my nose. But if I exercise, I notice my skin feels less dry.
This is, of course, if I drink lots of water. The way you know you are drinking enough water at this time of year is if you have to pee within 20 minutes after finishing your workout.
Go have a big glass on me.