Winter exercise boosts immunity during cold and flu season. A few minutes a day can help prevent simple bacterial and viral infections, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
It is more important than ever to make sure that you are warmed up for your workouts, however. It is always important to make sure that your body is warmed up before starting any kind of workout no matter where you are going to do your exercise. *You should always consult a physician before starting an exercise routine.
It is even more important to make sure that your body is warmed up before you head out into the cold temperatures. WHY is it important to be warmed up before you start your workout (whether its outside or inside)? When we are at rest, our muscles are the coldest. This means that they are at their shortest length and not able to stretch as easily compared to when they are warm. When our muscles are at the shortest length and cold, they are going to be most likely to tear if we push them too much. This makes it essential to do a quick 5-minute warm-up before you start your exercising to make sure that your body AND muscles are ready to be worked out!!
Always remember to check the weather before heading out. You should always dress for the climate. Don’t forget your sunscreen.
Follow these Tips for Safe Winter Exercise
Stay Hydrated – Drink Water
It doesn’t matter what season it is; you have to stay hydrated! Exercising during the winter does not mean you don’t sweat. Drink your water during and after your workout. The humidity during the cold season is also dehydrating.
Wear clothes according to the weather, wearing layers is important for your body temperature to regulate properly. Make sure you wear layers that you can easily remove and keep with you comfortably.
A base layer of synthetic wicking material to keep you warm is a good idea. Avoid cotton since sweat will not evaporate quickly. Next, add a layer of fleece or wool for insulation and top with a windproof material. Finally, you can never go wrong in using a hat or headband and a pair of gloves.
Warm-Up and Cool Down
Make sure to warm up until you are a little sweaty. Why? This prevents injury and it prepares your heart for the exertion. You can search online for the best warm-up exercises for you based on your age and type of work out. It may be stretching’s, a slow jog or jumping rope. It will depend on your current health situation.
Do not Run for the Speed
Safety is still your main concern. We do not recommend running or exercising too fast in winter. It can be harmful since you are more prone to injury. Find a comfortable speed or pace and stick to it. If running is out of the question due to harsh weather, stay indoors. Your treadmill or walking at an indoor space like a shopping mall will give you the same result.
Be creative with your workout during winter but remember to keep safety as the top priority. Our physical therapists can answer your questions and are available if you suffer from an injury, contact us at (484) 462-7013 or ONLINE.
* Everest Rehabilitation Services recommends that you consult with your physician before beginning any exercise program. You should be in good physical condition and be able to participate in the exercise. This article does not replace the diagnosis, examination or treatment of medical conditions of any kind, nor does it help in determining the effect of any specific exercise on a medical condition.