Tips for Exercising in the Winter

Run Philly Winter 2020

6 Tips to Maximize Your Exercise in the Winter

Despite our mild temperatures in November and December, Winter is upon us and we can’t avoid it. It doesn’t mean that your outdoor exercise has to hibernate until Spring though! It’s true, winter requires a little more effort to prepare for outdoor exercise. Our bodies have to work harder in the cold. This can be a positive. Exercising in colder temps can boost the effect of endorphins or the “feel good” hormones for your body because the body is working harder and producing more of these hormones. Outdoor exposure to nature light is also a known depression fighter. Both of these can help fight seasonal affective disorder and depression brought on by shorter days in the winter.

Whether you are walking, hiking, running, snowshoeing, or skiing, winter workouts are a way to keep our bodies moving during a time of year when we tend to be more sedentary. All we need is a plan. Here are some guidelines for healthy winter outdoor activity:

  1. Warm Up: Try warming up with light walking, jogging, or dynamic stretching in the house for few minutes before going to work out. Once you are outside, give yourself some short 30 second breaks during the first 10 minutes of exercise to allow your body to adjust to the cold.
  2. Cool Down but Don’t Freeze Down: Cool down for no longer than 3-4 minutes outside. Once cool down is complete, go inside, remove some layers and stretch for a few minutes before jumping in the shower.
  3. Know Your Surroundings: When you map out your route, keep in mind the conditions and the amount of traffic on the roads/trails. There are fewer people out. Choose a safe route that you know is treated if the weather has been wet.
  4. Warm the Air that You Breathe: Use a neck warmer or scarf to put around your nose and mouth to help warm/moisturize the air to make it less daunting on your lungs.
  5. Drink Up: Staying hydrated in the cold weather is just as important as the warm weather. We often just don’t realize that we are sweating. Remember the H2O!
  6. Be Flexible: Exercising in the winter might mean changing the time of the day that you are used to working out The warmer temps and safer conditions during daylight hours might be worth the modification to your schedule and help you avoid injury.

Let us know how you are doing with your workouts this winter. Feel free to share with us any personal tips that have helped you. As always, if you need a little guidance, give us a call or stop by the new office. We love hearing from you.

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