We all know how important it is to stay active. Physical activity helps maintain strong muscles which assists with balance, and it is also beneficial to cardiovascular health and mental wellness. But once the weather gets cold, it can be hard to stay active. The cold weather limits outdoor activity. Ice forms on the ground making it difficult to walk, and let’s not even think about how the cold gets in our joints causing aches and pains.
So how can we stay active and safe in the winter? Here are a few tips:
1. Wear Layers
If you plan to work out outdoors, wearing layers will keep you warm. Your first layer should be sportswear that will pull moisture away from your body, then top that with a fleece jacket and a waterproof layer of clothing.
2. Check Weather Conditions Before Going Out
Cold weather can be exhilarating during a workout. But going out when it’s excessively icy or when a storm is about to hit is downright dangerous. Check the weather forecast so you know what to expect before you leave your home.
3. Stay Safe When Walking Outdoors
A winter walk can do a load of good. But it’s important to keep yourself safe in wintery conditions. Dress warmly by wearing a thick jacket, a hat, gloves, a scarf, and boots with good traction. If it’s snowy, wait until streets and sidewalks are salted and plowed before walking.
4. Stay Hydrated
Sweating in cold temperatures makes your body consume water faster. Be sure to take a bottle of water with you when doing any sort of outdoor physical activity. Stay hydrated even if you don’t feel thirsty.
5. Plan for Working Out Indoors
If all else fails, you can always stay active by exercising indoors. If the weather allows, you can head to the local gym and use the machines or join a class. Or you can work out without leaving your home. You can walk around your house, climb up and down the stairs, or take an online fitness class. You can even kill two birds with one stone by making your cleaning routine part of your workout.
6. Try Online Fitness Classes
There are many free fitness classes online that you can take advantage of to stay active during the winter months. Just search YouTube for the type of exercise program that interests you and get moving! Our local Senior Centers also offer exercise classes, both online and in person.
7. Try Working Out in a Warm Pool
If the cold is causing your bones and joints to hurt, consider aqua aerobics in a warm pool. The water will reduce the force of gravity and offer support for limbs with a limited range of motion. It is ideal for strengthening muscles and improving flexibility.
8. Know the Signs of Hypothermia
Older adults may be at higher risk for hypothermia due to less subcutaneous fat and a diminished ability to sense temperature. Symptoms of hypothermia can include shivering and exhaustion, a lack of coordination, slowed reaction, and slurred speech. If a person’s temperature drops below 95°, get medical attention immediately. Learn more about hypothermia
We know it can be difficult to stay physically active during the winter but if you take proper precautions, you can get the exercise you need without injury. Have a healthy and safe winter!
Disclaimer: Age Well CT provides content for educational purposes only, please contact a professional for medical advice.