Six Tips to Help Reach Your Winter Fitness Goals

It’s important to know the details about exercising in the winter in order to stay healthy. Check out some tips to improve your winter fitness goals now.

December 07, 2016 | HF Healthy Living Team

Exercise is good for your overall well-being, but working out in the cold can be just as dangerous as it is in the heat if certain guidelines aren’t followed.

Click the photos below to find out how to stay safe and make the most of your exercise routine this winter.

Monitor Your
Health Conditions

 

Exercising in the cold can be safe and effective, but if you have an existing health condition such as asthma or heart problems, be sure to speak with your doctor first. He or she can give you tips for your specific condition and make sure your medicine is safe for the activity you choose.

 

Hydrate and Warm Up

 

Always drink plenty of water before and after your workout to stay hydrated. Warm-ups are essential for every workout, and winter exercises are no exception. Muscles tend to tighten up more in the cold, so your risk of muscle tears increases in the winter if you don’t stretch.

 

Protect Yourself
with Safety Gear

 

Winter weather can bring slippery conditions, so make sure your shoes have a good grip and you wear the proper gear for the activity. Don’t forget to wear sunscreen, since you can still get sunburnt in the winter, especially if you are at a higher elevation.

 

Look for Signs of
Frostbite and Hypothermia

 

When you exercise, your body’s core becomes the warmest. That means your feet, hands, ears, and head are the most vulnerable to hypothermia and frostbite. Keep those areas warm, and stay aware of signs like paleness, slurred speech, shivering, shallow breathing, numbness, or pins and needles.

 

Layer Up–But Don’t Overdress

 

It’s normal to feel cold when you first go outside to exercise. Once you start moving, your body will heat up and you won’t risk overheating. Wear layers so you can easily remove them as you get warmer. You may also want to add another pair of socks or invest in an extra pair of gloves.

 

Check the Weather

 

Check the weather for wind chill and overall temperature. The wind chill carries heat away from your body fast, and if it is too high, your risk of frostbite goes up. For example, if the wind is blowing at 15 mph at 0 degrees F, bare skin can freeze in 30 minutes. Prepare with the proper clothing or stay indoors if the weather is too extreme.

 
 

© 2016 HF Management Services, LLC.

Healthfirst is the brand name used for products and services provided by one or more of the Healthfirst group of affiliated companies.

This health information or program is for educational purposes only and not intended to treat, diagnose, or act as a substitute for medical advice from your provider. Consult your healthcare provider and always follow your healthcare provider’s instructions.

Sources
“Exercising in the Cold,” NIH. Accessed October 13, 2016.
https://go4life.nia.nih.gov/sites/default/files/ExercisingInColdWeather.pdf

“Hypothermia,” Mayo Clinic. Accessed October 14, 2016.
http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/hypothermia/basics/definition/con-20020453

“Winter Weather FAQ,” CDC. Accessed October 14, 2016.
https://www.cdc.gov/disasters/winter/faq.html

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