Warm-up well before exercising and cool down after (i.e. walk an easy pace for 10 minutes before increasing to a more challenging pace, and walk another 10 minutes at an easy pace at the end of your session)
Most of your body’s heat loss will come from your head and neck, so a hat and a scarf will work wonders! A scarf will also warm the air you breathe in and add moisture to it, which will reduce the chances of throat irritation.
Thermion, Thermax, Thinsulate, and other polypropylene-based synthetic fabrics are the best materials to wear as your base layer. These will allow your sweat to transfer to your other clothing layers to keep it off of your skin and prevent cooling. Cotton clothing is not an ideal base layer.
Mittens, rather than gloves, allow the heat from the hands to circulate around the fingers.
Beware the (common) cold
According to most cold researchers, damp, or cold weather does not increase your risk of catching a cold. People with colds tend to stay indoors, as do most people during the cold winter months, and this simply increases the contact between people and thus the chances of spreading a cold.
People who exercise report fewer colds than their inactive peers and moderate exercise has been shown to cause several positive changes in the immune system. But most of these are fairly temporary, so regular exercise is key!
Wash your hands regularly, have sanitizer handy, and avoid close contact with those with colds.
Dehydration is one of the most common reasons for hospitalization in people over 65 years old, and as you age your body becomes less effective at telling you when it’s thirsty.
Even if you don’t feel thirsty, you should regularly drink water.
Don't think your fit for exercise?
Talk to your doctor! It can be quite reassuring to have that personal and professional confirmation that you are ready to get active. One of the greatest deterrents to getting active is uncertainty about both what you can do and what you should do.
To see just how much exercise is ideal, check out the updated Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines for Older Adults
What Exercises Can I Do?
Avoid outdoor activity in the extreme cold
Walk in local malls, join a health club or indoor sports league (remember, fun exercise doesn’t feel like exercise!)
Hand weights and exercise bands are great if you have access to them