Health Minute: Staying Active In Cold Weather
As the temperatures continue to drop, it is important to stay active despite wanting to stay indoors. Although the cold weather may make you want to stay cozy under a blanket, there are many ways to stay active during the colder seasons! Trey Godwin, MD, a physiatrist specializing in Sports Medicine with Adventist HealthCare Rehabilitation discusses how you can exercise safely throughout the winter.
Why is staying active important?
Staying active during the winter months can increase endurance and promote a healthy heart. Maintaining regular physical activity can help you with anxiety, sleep and overall health. While staying active has many physical benefits, it can also assist with mental health. Exercise has been shown to help combat seasonal affective disorder (SAD) by releasing endorphins, or hormones that reduce pain and increase feelings of positivity.
How can I be active in the winter?
There are many ways to get moving in the cold which include going to the gym, doing at home workouts, walking indoors and doing chores around the house. Nature walks are always a great source of physical activity – just make sure you bundle up beforehand!
What are some precautions I should take before exercising in the cold?
Being active in the colder months also means taking some additional precautions. If you are planning on going for a jog, walk or participating in other winter outdoor activities like skiing, ice skating or sledding, remember to do the following:
· Dress in several layers to keep your body warm and protected from the chilling temperatures.
· Take time to warm up and cool down with stretches and walking to prepare and restore your muscles.
· Even though it’s cold out, you still need to stay hydrated by drinking water before, during and after exercise.
· If the temperatures are too cold or its windy or wet outside, consider staying inside and participating in an indoor activity.