How to Exercise in Damp Climates

By Isaiah David

Exercising in damp climates poses some special challenges. The moisture makes it hard to stay cool, since sweat doesn't readily evaporate from the body in damp weather. In addition, the gray skies and rainy weather that often go along with damp climes can breed depression and listlessness, which makes it hard to stick with your exercise routine. Fortunately, with enough perseverance and some planning, you can get the exercise your body needs no matter where you live.


Difficulty: Moderate
Step 1
Survey your local climate. Is it hot and damp or cold and damp? Is it damp year-round, or just during one season? Is there extreme weather that would make it difficult or dangerous to exercise during certain months? This will help you identify problem months and choose appropriate activities.
Step 2
Make a list of activities you would enjoy doing during different seasons. Don't think of the exercises you could do, but the exercises you want to do. For example, if you are not willing to jog every morning in winter drizzle, plan another activity you might better enjoy.
Step 3
Consider joining a gym or signing up for indoor activities like martial arts. You can get all of your exercise in the comfortable interior of a climate-controlled athletic club. If you prefer to exercise outside, buy the cheapest gym membership available as a back-up for only the most inhospitable days.
Step 4
Plan a weekly exercise schedule. It should include at least 30 minutes of vigorous cardiovascular exercise three times a week. You may want to plan alternative routines, such as doing jumping jacks and free-weight exercises indoors, in case your normal activity gets rained out.
Step 5
Buy appropriate clothing. For warm damp weather, a t-shirt and shorts should be fine, though you should invest in materials that wick away sweat and moisture. For cold damp weather, you may want to layer. Wear an inner wicking layer made out of silk, polyester or another material which transports water away from the skin. Your middle layer should be a thermal shirt, sweatshirt or other warm clothing, and perhaps thermal underwear as well. Finally, wear a windbreaker as your outer layer and some exercise pants. If you get too hot, you can take off one of your layers to cool down. Don't neglect your feet, either; purchase shoes that are waterproof and provide good traction on wet surfaces.
Step 6
Get a friend to work out with you. In wet, dreary weather, a friend will provide you with the encouragement you need to get out there and get some exercise.

Tips & Warnings

Pay particular attention to your hydration levels when working out in hot damp weather.
Damp weather can trigger some health conditions and allergies, so take any pre-existing conditions into consideration when choosing activities. If you have mold allergies, for example, you may want to avoid wooded areas on really wet days. In addition, you may want to talk to your doctor or naturopath about any gentle remedies that might lessen your symptoms.

About The Author

Isaiah David is a freelance writer and musician living in Portland, Ore. He has nearly five years' experience as a professional writer and has been published on various online outlets. He holds a degree in creative writing from the University of Michigan.


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