Keeping fit and active is always a little more difficult in the winter. In fact, a survey of 5,000 people found that 30% get no exercise at all in the winter. Even in Colorado where we have access to plenty of winter activities, the idea of winter workouts makes many want to run and duck under the covers. But as your Denver cardiology team of experts, we know how important it is to keep active in the colder months so we have some fantastic winter workout tips that will keep you active, fit and healthy.
First, for winter workouts, all you really need is just a little additional planning and safety precautions. And, even with the dropping outdoor temperatures, there are plenty of options—both indoor and outdoor. If you prefer to workout outdoors, keep these tips in mind:
- Correct warm-up – the cold makes muscles tight and, as a result, more prone to injury. So, first things first, get your muscles warmed up before engaging in intense physical activities.
- Insulate – Dress in layers as layering is the most effective heating method and it allows you to remove the top layer if you get too hot. Ensure the layer closest to your skin is moisture-wicking material in order that sweat is pulled away from your body. The top layer should be both water and wind resistant.
- Stay hydrated – Even though you may be cold and not feel as thirsty, keeping your body hydrated is as important in the winter as it is in the summer.
- Don’t immediately strip when inside – It is tempting when you return inside after a run or a walk to immediately peel off your layers. However, you need to allow your body to adjust in order to avoid post-exercise hypothermia as this happens when your body quickly loses the heat it stores.
Doing these things will allow you to still workout outside whether it is running, jogging, skiing, snow shoeing, ice skating or more. However, if the idea of being outside is just not for you, here are some ideas to help you get a great workout in while inside.
- Hit the mall – Talk about a two-for-one deal! Go to the mall and walk around it inside. Plus, you can get some shopping in! But, in all seriousness, you can create or join a walking group, which will also help you stay accountable to someone other than yourself.
- Indoor gym – You do not have to spend a fortune on exercise equipment. Just get some dumbbells, an exercise ball and jump rope. Those are the basics of putting together a great routine and cost only about $50.
- Use the stairs – If you have stairs, spend about 20 minutes going up and down them. This will provide you an intense and efficient workout.
- Indoor pools – Most recreation centers have an indoor pool. Swimming and water aerobics, or even just walking in the water or swimming laps can provide a full strength building and cardio workout. Plus, there is no sweating!
How to Use This Information
Here at South Denver Cardiology, we want you to stay fit and healthy. Plus, staying fit keeps your heart healthy as well as reduce stress. So, we encourage you to maintain a good workout routine, even in the winter. If you have any questions about appropriate exercise feel free to call us at (303) 744-1065 or contact us online.