Whether you love it or hate it, winter is here to stay – for a few more months anyway. The cold can be downright frigid here in and around Clinton Township – but you learn to either get used to it or move to a warmer climate. If you are a very active person engaging in many warm weather sports or activities, you may find it more difficult to get out and enjoy exercising in the cold.
Here’s why you should! Put plainly, it’s good for you. Whether it is hot or cold out, exercising outdoors is incredibly beneficial. It is well documented that working out outside decreases stress and frustration while boosting your energy.
Also, we all know that exercise is good for your mood, especially exercising in the sunlight. Working out in the cold causes your body to work harder and significantly increases your endorphins. The result? An even happier you!
So what kind of activities are the best and safest to do in the winter? Other than the obvious activities of skiing and snowboarding, running and jogging continue to be great outdoor workouts as long as they are done safely.
How to Exercise Safely Outdoors During Winter
Plan ahead. Scout out areas that are well lit and well plowed or shoveled, and try to keep these areas as close to home as possible. In the event that you may slip and injury yourself, you want to be able to get home quickly or be able to reach out to a trusted neighbor for help.
Watch the weather report. If you are familiar with winter weather, you know that it can change very quickly. Before heading out, check the radar and weather reports to see if and when any snow or freezing rain is expected, so that you don’t end up being stuck in a potentially unsafe situation.
As with any workout, you will still want to warm up ahead of time, just be sure to do it indoors. Then once out, take breaks every few minutes for the first 10 minutes to help get your body acclimated to the temperature. Likewise, for your cool down you will want to just do a few minutes of cool down outside and finish up inside.
Know your limitations. If you normally run 5 miles every morning, maybe start with 2 or 3. Until you know how your body will react to working out in the cold, it’s best to gradually work your way up to your normal workout in warmer weather. Sudden stops in exercise can increase your risk for hypothermia.
Take a buddy. It’s always safer to exercise with someone else in the event of an injury. Your friend can help get you to our orthopedic urgent care in Clinton Township if you’re unable to drive due to a broken bone or severe ankle sprain.
If you have taken all the proper precautions but still end up with a joint or other musculoskeletal injury, Movement Orthopedics is here to help. We want you to get back to your workouts in a safe manner. Board-certified orthopedic and sports medicine specialist Dr. Jeffrey Carroll diagnoses and treats a wide variety of sports injuries. Call (586) 436-3785 or request an appointment online today.