By Kevin M. DuPrey, D.O.
It’s freezing. It’s windy. It’s dark. The Eagles are losing. These are just some of the many excuses to avoid exercising during winter. Here are some tips to stay active even on the coldest of days.
Fluctuating winter conditions can make exercising outdoors much more difficult. Advanced planning for your workout may not be your top priority, but with today’s technology, it’s easier than ever to avoid forecast perils. Weather apps, such as “WeatherBug” with storm tracking technology can help you avoid the worst of the freezing rainstorms so you can plan your workout for several hours later when temperatures rise to a balmy 45 degrees.
Be an Onion
Dressing for outdoor recreation can be difficult, especially with wintry winds. Look for clothes made from “moisture-wicking” fabric to keep you dry. Try donning multiple layers that can be easily removed when you warm up. Consider doing a loop course, if you’re walking, biking or running, to drop off extra layers you may not need once you heat up or find a good hiding spot on your route when doing an “out and back.” Also, keep in mind that it’s better to start off feeling cool, as you’ll warm up quickly with exertion.
Before heading out in the cold, put on all of your layers, and do some warm-up exercises. Winter is a great time to do those calisthenics you’ve forgotten about in the beautiful fall weather. Push-ups, core exercises and even jumping jacks are great ways to heat up. Once your core temperature is elevated, 30 degrees can feel more like 50.
If you’re not one for cold weather – or if it’s just too cold out there – find a gym or other indoor activity you enjoy. Try something new, such as a spin class, rock climbing, racquetball, Zumba or Pilates. If the elliptical causes instant boredom, try downloading your favorite shows or movies (an option now available on many popular streaming services).
If you still can’t find the motivation to stick with a fitness plan in winter, spring is just around the corner.
About the Author
Dr. DuPrey specializes in sports medicine and enjoys working with patients of all ages and abilities to allow them to return to the activities they enjoy in the safest and most effective manner. His holistic approach is to look at the whole picture and help prevent future injuries.