How To Keep Exercising Outdoors During the Winter Months
December 08, 2020
Don’t let winter turn you into a couch potato! You can still keep exercising even when temperatures fall. Enjoying the outdoors through exercise is good for your body and can improve your mood too.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control recommends 30 minutes of exercise a day, five days a week. Even in cold weather, you can enjoy outdoors activity such as:
- Walking or running
- Stair repeats, either walking or running -- both will get your heart rate up
- Creating your own exercise course around your block by marking spots to stop and do calisthenics such as burpees, pushups, jumping jacks, squats or lunges. Walk or run between each exercise.
- Jump rope
- Cross-country skiing
Get the Right Gear
One trick to keeping exercising outside during the winter months is to make sure you have the right clothing, which protects you from the elements while still supporting your workout.
Here, courtesy of Laura Goldberg, MD, UH Pediatric & Adult Sports Medicine Specialist, are some tips to help you get outside in an open space and maintain healthy habits through the colder months:
Dress in Layers
Activities such as hiking has a lot of climate fluctuations, so dress in layers that you can remove. When your body temperature rises, you do not want to be overdressed.
“Turtleneck tech shirts are a great way to keep your body warm while not getting too hot,” Dr.Goldberg says.
Manage the Wind
Often times the wind is what makes activity harder and cools the body down. Wear windbreaker jackets and pants on windy days to fight off the wind.
Wear Technical Gear Instead of Cotton
Unlike cotton, sweat-wicking clothing keeps moisture away and keeps you dry. Cotton can get heavy and doesn’t “breathe,” which will make you colder.
Keep Your Hands and Feet Warm and Dry
Get a wool-type of sock to keep your feet warm and make sure ankles are covered. For longer runs and hikes in the ice and snow, look into waterproof shoes and spikes to avoid falls. Cover your hands with a wool-type of mitten.
University Hospitals Sports Medicine takes a multidisciplinary approach that integrates care from medical experts who specialize in the diagnosis and treatment for athletes of all ages and abilities. Our fellowship-trained sports medicine specialists, primary care doctors, nutritionists, sleep experts and other health care professionals ensure the very best in health and medical care for athletes. Learn more about sports medicine at University Hospitals.