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Overcoming Winter Workout Challenges

By Donna Stark

Winter is one of the most challenging times of the year to exercise. The dark, cold, and snowy days that make their appearance every single morning can wreak havoc on the best of plans, but what's a person to do? How can the specific challenges that come with winter be addressed effectively? Well, it's all about knowing how to deal with winter conditions, how to dress for the elements, and how to reduce your risk of danger. Take a look.

Challenges of Winter Workouts

Preparing your body for a winter workout and solving all the logistics to make it happen can seem a bit overwhelming at times, but the following tips may be able to help you figure some of it out.

  • Warm-ups - Warming up helps to increase the temperature of the body's muscles and connective tissue, which reduces the risk of injury and prepares your body for cold-weather exercise.
  • Clothing - It is extremely important to wear the right kind of clothing when heading outdoors to exercise in the winter. Dress in layers, wear reflective items, make sure your shoes have plenty of traction and support, and keep your head, ears, face, and hands covered.
  • Equipment - The sun is going down a lot earlier now, so be prepared to face the darkness by bringing the right equipment along with you, such as a flashlight, lighted headband, and cell phone.
  • Location - Avoid running in the dark in areas that you aren't familiar with or in areas that may have black ice and other winter hazards that are hard to see. And if the weather doesn't cooperate for you, have a backup plan that includes an indoor gym or a home workout instead.

Keeping Yourself Safe

Figuring out where and when you are going to exercise, how you are going to warm up, and what you are going to wear aren't the only things you need to worry about. You also need to keep in mind all of the potential dangers you may come up against.

  • Hypothermia - Hypothermia occurs when your body is exposed to extreme elements for a significant amount of time. Symptoms include shivering, drowsiness, and disorientation.
  • Frostbite - Frostbite occurs when exposed parts of your body (typically your fingertips, ears, and toes) actually freeze. Symptoms include numbness, skin discoloration, and clumsiness.
  • Slips and falls - Slips and falls seem to occur more often during the winter because the snow, slush, and ice can make roadways and sidewalks extremely hazardous. Pay attention to your surroundings and monitor your speed wisely.

Staying Fit in the Winter

Staying on top of your fitness during the winter may seem challenging at first, but by following the tips above and prioritizing your safety, you are sure to get through these cold months feeling and looking better than ever!

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Lakewood, Colo.

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