5 Tips for Exercising in the Cold
(from a Traditional Chinese Medicine Perspective)
One guiding principle in Traditional Chinese Medicine is the yin yang theory. In the natural world, there exists a balance between 2 opposing and co-existing forces and yet, they also exist in each other. Our bodies, minds, and souls are designed the same way in that to be healthy, we need to be in harmony between these 2 bipolar states. Yin is receptive and passive, calm and slow, embodying cold and damp qualities (when we are sleeping). Yang is its exact opposite in aggressive and active, embodying heat, dryness, and movement (when we are awake).
One of our mission at The Chinese Soup Lady is to bring these principles into the foods and drinks we consume in order to support harmony.
You can explore more about some Traditional Chinese Medicine theories in these posts.
What’s the coldest you can exercise in outdoors?
From a Traditional Chinese Medicine perspective, there exists a balance between hot vs cold and moisture vs dryness.
It’s typically looked at in this light where you can have excess yang (heat) in the body, but is it a dry heat or an excess moisture heat? The same applies for excess yin (cold). Is this a dry excess yin or excess moisture in yin?
This is where it also depends on external conditions, such as Toronto in the winter yields a dry cold, whereas in Hong Kong, it’s a wet (humid) cold.
It’s important to pay attention to how these conditions then blend with how you’re feeling internally.
Get to know your own body…
How aware are you of your own body?
How aware are you of how your body reacts in different conditions?
Each of us are created uniquely and beautifully. This is where one person’s condition and reaction are different from another person’s, even in the same external environment and diets!
Here’s a tip to develop an awareness of yourself.
- Be best friends with your tongue. Take a pause to notice how it feels (Are there are any rough spots? Any ridges?). Stick it out when you’re brushing your teeth. How is its color? Any ridges?
- Signs of excess yang (or yin deficiency) can include a rough feeling tongue, canker or cold sores, rough patches, or extra red tongue. It’s not by any means a diagnosis, but here’s where I’ll stop eating fried foods, stop drinking warming soups, and substitute for something like a cooling chrysanthemum herbal tea.