Loving Your Outdoor Winter Workouts
By Donna Stark
There is no reason why you should take a break from exercising out in the sun and fresh air when the temperatures drop. In fact, you should do the exact opposite! Exercising outdoors in the winter has some distinct advantages over exercising outdoors in the summer, so don't hunker down and pull the blankets over your head just yet. Instead, throw on those layers of clothes and head outdoors for some cold-weather fun!
Exercising Outdoors in the Winter
Even though the days may be cold, dark, and dreary, that's still not reason enough to push the pause button on your workouts. Daily physical activity is necessary for optimal health and wellness, no matter what time of year it is, so get up and get moving! Here are some ideas on what you can do.
- Brisk walking, jogging, or hiking
- Raking leaves or shoveling snow (help a neighbor out too!)
- Ice skating, sledding, skiing
Safety Before Anything Else
Now that you got your plan for action, it's time to head outdoors, but don't be in such a rush! Outdoor winter exercise is safe for almost everyone, but as with anything, there are some safety precautions you should take note of. Take a look at the following suggestions from your local chiropractors at The Joint Chiropractic.
- Check weather conditions and wind chill so you can dress appropriately.
- Choose clothing made with reflective, moisture-wicking fabric and layer up
- Wear shoes that offer plenty of support and traction
- Stay hydrated before, during, and after your workout
- Use safety gear (helmets, knee pads, walking sticks) if necessary
- Know the signs of frostbite and hypothermia
- Select a route that is safe and accessible
- Let someone know where you are going and how long you plan to be outside
- Carry a phone if possible or invite a friend to join
- Stretch and warm your body up before you work out
Of course, if the weather is too extreme or if your body isn't responding to the temperatures very well, you can always shorten your workout and finish it inside. It's vital that you listen to what your body is telling you to avoid any injuries or long-term damage.
Loving Your Outdoor Workouts
Even though the temperature has dropped, that doesn't mean you should become your family's latest couch potato. Resist the urge to skip your workouts, learn how to embrace the cold weather by following the tips above, and stay active. Who knows? You may even start liking your outdoor winter exercises more than the ones you do in the summer!
To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Lakewood, Colo.