The air is getting cooler, which means fall is here and winter is not far behind. Here in Naperville, it gets very cold around this time of year, which can make you want to retreat into hibernation. However, just because the temperature is dropping, that doesn’t mean you should give up on your fitness goals. Staying healthy is a year-round commitment and if you want to fend off illness so you can enjoy the holidays, you can’t let it slide. With that in mind, we’ve compiled some ways that you can stay active this winter. At Optimal Health Medical Fitness, we’re dedicated to helping people stay healthy, recover from injuries, and live their best lives. Call us today if you’d like to learn more!
-Do Something Fun
Sure, it might be pretty cold out, but there are many fun outdoor activities you can do to stay active. Throw on some skates and hit the rink for a great full-body exercise. Maybe you are “allergic” to the cold; check out your local recreation center to find a spot to play some basketball or go swimming out of the snow. This is a great time to switch up your normal routine and try something new, so don’t be shy! If you really want to heat yourself up, enroll one of the hot yoga classes that are all the rage these days.
-Layers Upon Layers
If you’re going to be exercising outside in any form, it’s vital for you to ensure you’re well insulated. This helps to keep you warm and dry, which is very important for you to avoid catching one of the many cold weather ailments that can bring your day of winter fun to an end. Layers are very helpful because if you end up getting too hot, you can take a layer off easily. For the layer closest to your skin, it should be a fabric that wicks away moisture. Avoid cotton for this layer, because once it gets wet, it will take a long time to dry out. This puts you at risk of hypothermia.
When you come back inside covered in layers, it can be tempting to immediately peel them off. However, when you have been exercising in the cold, it’s important you give your body time to adjust to the temperature difference once you’re inside. The reason for this is because a sudden loss of body heat can result in post-exercise hypothermia. This happens because the layers are doing a lot of work to keep you warm, while your body’s ability to produce heat is reduced. When those layers are removed, your body temperature can suddenly drop, putting you at risk. It’s recommended you wait for about ten to fifteen minutes before you change into different clothes.
At any point that you’re physically active, you need to make sure you’re properly hydrated, and winter is no different. This can be deceptive because you might not feel as thirsty as you would on a hot summer day, but it’s not something to ignore. You should be drinking water before, during, and after you exercise outdoors. A great way you can do this is by bringing along a thermos of hot herbal tea. This will both hydrate you and warm you up on a chilly day.
When winter rolls around, the days get shorter and you start to see less sunlight. This makes it very important for you to take advantage of these periods of daylight, where the sun will be shining and it might not be as cold out. However, we understand this might not be possible for everyone. If you do need to exercise at night, be sure you’re wearing reflective clothing to stay safe.
Something as small as going for a walk can still make a big difference when it comes to keeping you healthy. The winter can make it tough to walk around, with snow-covered and ice-laden sidewalks making every step a treacherous one. Find indoor locations where you can get some walking in safely.
Now, we’re not telling you to run out and buy an expensive gym set up that will end up collecting dust. There are many ways you can inexpensively put together a spot in your home to get some exercise in. All it takes is some dumbbells, resistance bands, an exercise ball, or a yoga mat to stay active at home. You can even check out some exercise DVDs or books from the local library if you need some extra direction.
Staying active is one of the most important things you can do for your health. Fight off cabin fever and find new ways to get your exercise in this winter, but be sure you’re taking the proper steps to keep yourself safe and healthy. At Optimal Health Medical Fitness, we’re passionate about helping people live their best life. From rehabbing injuries, regenerative medicine, personal training, and more, you can count on our Naperville team to help you feel your best. Call us today to schedule your consultation.