Try These Winter-Friendly Orthopedic Exercises
Sports Medicine, Physical Rehabilitation, Workout Injuries
Wintertime exercising can be fun and keep you in shape, especially if you follow these cold weather workout tips.
Working out isn’t only for the warm weather. You can and should maintain your exercise routine even when the temperatures chill. But, wintertime exercising demands special considerations to keep you healthy and safe.
Cold weather stiffens your muscles, making them more prone to injury — but you can keep them flexible with exercise. Exercising lightens your mood in the dark winter months and strengthens your body to fight seasonal colds. After the hassle of the holiday season, exercise is a stress-reliever. Importantly, wintertime exercise helps you maintain your weight year-round. So, instead of throwing on a blanket and waiting for spring, follow these tips to stay strong even when snow and temperatures fall.
Five tips for successful wintertime workouts
Exercising during the winter months can be extremely beneficial, if you know how to go about it correctly. Whether you’re downhill skiing or taking a winter hike, try these suggestions to get the most out of your workout.
Warm up. Light aerobic activities such as jogging in place or jumping jacks prepare your body for your workout. Take a brisk walk before diving into your exercise activity. Stretching is important, too. One to try is the upper body twist: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and lift your arms to form a “T.” Breathe in and twist to your right. Exhale and return to the starting position. Repeat on the left side.
Layer up. If you’re venturing outdoors, layer up to keep warm and retain body heat. Pile on multiple layers of clothing, preferably those made of wicking fabric to whisk away moisture from your body. If you heat up, you can always remove some items. Just be sure to cover up again when you finish your exercise. Don’t forget your hands — instead of gloves, wear mittens with a nylon shell. They’ll keep your hands warmer than gloves. Since heat escapes from your head, cover your head and ears with a knit beanie.
Drink up. Although you may not feel thirsty, your body needs water as you sweat. Before your workout, drink about two cups of water and sip as you exercise to keep your muscles hydrated.
Lace up the right shoes. A wintertime hike can be invigorating, but traversing on icy or snowy trails can lead to falls. Switch your regular walking or running shoes for ones with cleats for better traction and stability. If you’re jogging at night, put reflective stripes on your clothing so oncoming traffic can see you. To see better in the dark, strap on a headlamp or take a flashlight with you.
Take up exercising indoors. If it’s too cold to go outdoors to exercise, move your workout routine indoors. Buy a home treadmill or exercise bike and work out within the confines of your own home. Or, break out a yoga mat and watch a video. Yoga is a great way to stretch your muscles and keep you limber. Join a gym to take a dip in an indoor pool for some exercise variety.
Exercising doesn’t have to stop during the winter months. These tips will not only prevent injuries, they’ll also help make the transition to your springtime activities smooth, too.
Let us help you get the most from your workout
The staff at All Sports Physical Therapy can help you get the most from your workout, whether you’re an experienced skier or weekend hiker. We aim to help our patients find an exercise program that works for them. If you suffer an injury, we can tailor a program to get you back to doing what you love. Contact us today for a consultation.