Winter Fitness: 5 Tips to Exercise Safely
Hibernating on the couch during the winter months won’t help you continue to reach your healthy living goals! RediClinic, your neighborhood walk-in clinic, offers these tips to help you stay fit, motivated and warm while exercising during cold weather.
Monitor weather conditions. Pay attention to the forecast before you head outside for a winter-weather workout. If the temperature will be below 0°F or the wind chill is extreme, take a break or opt for an indoor workout to prevent frostbite. Avoid exercising without waterproof clothing in rain or snow. Wet clothing reduces core body temperature and makes you more vulnerable to the cold.
Dress in layers. Dressing in layers creates insulation and allows you to remove clothing if you get too warm. Begin with a thin layer of wicking material that draws sweat away from the body. Avoid cotton, which stays wet next to the skin. Add a layer of wool or fleece for insulation, then top with a waterproof yet breathable outer layer.
Protect your extremities. In cold weather, the body concentrates blood flow on the torso to conserve heat, leaving the extremities vulnerable to frostbite. Take extra care to not leave your head, hands, feet and ears exposed when exercising outdoors.
Drink plenty of fluids. Hydration is just as important in cold weather as when it’s hot out. If you’re not properly hydrated, your heart has to work harder and your energy levels may decrease. Drink water or a sports drink before, during and after a workout to keep dehydration at bay.
Don’t forget sunscreen. You can still get sunburned in winter, especially if you’re exercising in the snow or at high altitudes. Snow reflects the sun’s UV rays and can nearly double the amount of sun exposure on your skin. Just as you do during the summer, wear sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 and lip balm with an SPF of at least 15.
Get Motivated at RediClinic
Need motivation to keep yourself healthy? Head to your nearest RediClinic health clinic for a comprehensive health screening or physical conducted by a board-certified clinician. You’ll find a RediClinic conveniently located inside select Rite Aid Pharmacies and H-E-B grocery stores nationwide.