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Cold Weather Exercise Tips

Cold Weather Exercise Tips


Between fewer daylight hours, freezing cold temperatures, and the need for layers of insulated workout gear, it's all too easy to slip out of a regular exercise routine after New Year's Day. But winter weather is no excuse to ditch your resolution to stay active. With just a few precautions, there's no need to hibernate until spring.

"Safety is key for the 'winter warriors' among us," says Dr. Douglas Comeau, Director of Sports Medicine at BMC. "Guarding against frostbite and injuries when exercising in dark or icy conditions is critically important."

Here are some simple adjustments you can make in order to exercise safely, all winter long.

  • Warm up indoors. Jumping jacks, jogging in place, or jumping rope will help increase your body temperature, before you go outside.
  • Wear several lightweight layers of clothing. That way, you can remove some layers as your body heat increases. Layers also provide added insulation from the cold.
  • Step it up. Whether you're at the office, the mall, or visiting your doctor, skip the elevator and use the stairs instead (this year-round advice is especially important in the winter).
  • Home is where the health is. Too dark and cold to hit the gym? Create your own at-home gym with some basic tools: free weights, a stability ball, and a yoga mat are a great start. Sit-ups and push-ups can be done in front of the TV – no equipment required!
  • Embrace the season! Winter sports are a lot of fun. Whether you're into skiing, ice skating, sledding, or you just like building snowmen, there's no shortage of things to do outdoors at this time of year. An added bonus: exercising with friends can help you maintain your fitness goals.

If you experience an injury as a result of a winter workout, contact the Ryan Center for Sports Medicine, BMC's Sports Medicine Clinic, at 617-358-3400 or visit www.bu.edu/sportsmedicine.