Are you planning on getting active in 2021? Like most people, you might be looking to boost outdoor activity this year. It can help keep you fit and lower the risk for COVID-19.
But exercising in the winter is much different than in the summer. There are more hazards, making proper equipment and technique essential to reduce your risk of injury and protect bones, joints, and more.
If there were shipping delays and you’ve just got your gear, you’re surely anxious to get started. Here are a few things to keep in mind that can help keep you safe.
The first thing is hydration. You’ll be sweating even though it’s cold. Be sure to stay adequately hydrated throughout the day. Monitor urine frequency and color, and drink roughly eight glasses of water during the day.
Layer up with a breathable base layer that wicks away moisture. Have outer layers that can be easily removed and reapplied as needed. Remember to keep your core temperature higher by dressing warmly.
Walking or running outdoors during the winter can pose plenty of risks. A few ways to increase safety include:
- Selecting routes that are well maintained (cleared of snow and ice)
- Wear bright-colored reflective gear to increase visibility
- Use adequate footwear. Purchasing water-resistant shoes can help keep feet dry and warm. You can also get winter-specific running shoes with long treads for better grip. Screwing lugs into the sole of your shoes can also help.
Skating, snowshoeing, and skiing are other popular outdoor winter sports. The same general rules apply in regard to dressing. If you’ve never skated or skied before, get a lesson. They can be very risky.
No matter what you’re doing, be sure to warm up first. Light exercise for about 10-minutes loosens up the joints to help improve range of motion and limit the risk of injury. Jumping in full-speed can boost the chance of hurting yourself.