Whether it is the icy conditions from freezing rain, frigid temps, or slushy, wet snow, exercising in winter can present special problems. Don’t let them keep you indoors, though, because there is nothing like fresh air in your lungs and the beauty of a crisp, white landscape to lift your spirits. Our foot clinic offers these helpful tips so you can still have an enjoyable and beneficial workout in the great outdoors.
Start with what you put on. Footwear should keep your toes warm and have the correct traction for the surface you will be on. Icy pavement means you grab your ice cleats before you head out; slush will require waterproof pair shoes to keep your feet dry. Wear layers of clothing so you can adjust as you go. The layer against your body should wick moisture away, the next one should insulate you, and the top layer should block the wind. Hat and gloves or mittens are a must in chilly temps to avoid heat loss from your head and frostbite in your fingers.
Next, plan your workout. If it is windy, try to find a sheltered area to run, or at least head out into the wind while you are fresh and not overheated, and have it at your back when you are sweaty and tired out. Make sure you will be visible and out of danger where you exercise, and that the surface will not be a hindrance. Try to stick fairly close to home in case of problems—it’s better to repeat a loop than to run into trouble far from home. If the weather is “simply frightful,” it may be best to give the outdoor workout a rest for that day.
Finally, use smart techniques. Warm up outside, so you don’t overheat at the start. Exercising in winter weather uses more energy. Start slow, listen to your body to determine distance and intensity, and take a few minutes to slow down at the end and walk around before heading inside to stretch.
If you take a tumble or twist an ankle, call Abbott Foot & Ankle Clinic—the expert health care provider for foot and ankle issues in Collingwood, ON—at (705) 444-9929 to book an appointment. We understand running and what your feet need. Let us help your feet stay healthy so you can be active outdoors this winter.