December 23, 2014 in Staying Active & Healthy
Winter may seem like a great time to take a break from your normal exercise routine and relax, but lack of activity is never good for our waistline. Allowing for 30 minutes of moderate exercise 3-4 times a week will keep your weight in check and your mood elevated, as exercise is shown to combat the winter blues we often feel from lack of sunlight. So whether you are planning to shovel snow, ski cross country or take a winter day walk, here are some tips for preventing injury.
3 Tips for Avoiding Winter Exercise Injury
Stay Hydrated. While this may seem like common sense, it’s important for us not to forget to hydrate. Reaching for that cool glass of water definitely seems more appealing on a hot summer day, but drinking plenty of water is just as important during winter activities. If you tend to lose track of how much water you have consumed during the day, try keeping a journal or filling a large container in the morning in efforts to finish by bedtime.
Layer Adequately. Over-layering can be a concern in the winter months. It’s important to keep the body warm but not to allow it to get overheated once you begin exercising. Try using an inner layer of moisture wicking material, a middle layer of fleece and wind/waterproof material on the exterior. This will help protect you from the elements while regulating your body temperature. Be sure to also cover your head and hands, as there is where most of our heat loss occurs. This will also protect you from dangerous frostbite. Finally, wear goggles to protect your eyes from corneal freezing.
Condition for the Cold. Our body is a machine that responds best to repetitive training. Therefore, when it comes to exercising in the cold, it’s best to set small goals in order to achieve certain activities. For example, if you enjoy running but typically use a treadmill during the winter months, jumping right into your daily run in the winter may be dangerous. Instead, warm up inside and complete the majority of your run on the treadmill, then add in a few minutes outside. Add on more time each day and it will definitely become easier.
Staying active in the winter months is a great way to be proactive with your health! There are so many fun activities to do outside, just be sure to be safe and follow these tips for a happy and healthy season!