Michigan winter weather is here, which means colder temperatures, snow, and ice! As the season sets in, many of us tend to engage in less exercise and movement overall. But with proper planning, you can stay safe and active even as temperatures drop and there’s snow on the ground. Stay warm, stay safe, and stay active!
Here are a few PT tips for exercising during the winter season:
1. Wear the right shoes – Falls are much more likely on ice and snow, so try picking a shoe with a heavier tread to avoid slipping on wet leaves, snow, or ice. For additional traction, you may also consider adding cleats to your shoes (such as Yaktrax or other similar product). Also, keep in mind that it’s wise to slow down if you can’t see the pavement due to snow or ice covering. Doing so can help you stay balanced and avoid a fall!
2. Layer up! - The best way to stay warm is to layer your clothing. Layers are crucial because they allow you to stay warm when you first start out and not overheat as your workout intensifies and you begin to sweat.
3. Make time for a warmup – Doing a pre-exercise warmup is especially important during the cold weather months to prevent injury. For example, we suggest 5-10 minutes of brisk walking and dynamic stretches.
4. Remember to hydrate – As temperatures drop, it’s easy to forget that you still need to stay hydrated when doing physical activity. But it’s still important to take in fluids before and after your workout to avoid fatigue and keep your muscles working properly.
5. If all else fails, take your workout indoors – When the weather conditions are less than ideal for outdoor exercise, it may be safer to move your workout indoors.
6. Have a nagging injury that prevents you from getting outside? - See your physical therapist! A physical therapist’s goal is to keep you moving and doing the things you enjoy, including getting outside this winter!