Does the thought of another frosty Philadelphia winter make you want to hibernate until the warmer weather arrives in spring? We say, don’t avoid the cold; instead remain active by venturing outside, even when the temperatures drop. Going for a run or walk, inhaling the cool, crisp winter air, and working up a sweat have a lot of benefits. In today’s post, Dr. Eric Ricefield, Dr. Mark Yagodich, and Dr. Aliza V. Eisen of greater Philadelphia’s Your Next Step Foot and Ankle Care Center share their tips for staying safe during your cold weather activities.
First, heading outdoors to exercise increases your exposure to the sun’s rays, which helps keep your Vitamin D levels up. Also, a cold-weather workout boosts your mood and helps to keep the winter blahs away. Finally, you can improve your endurance and burn more calories with aerobic exercise in the frosty air.
When heading outdoors to exercise, be smart and follow our top 5 tips.
- Get the green light from your doctor. If you have a history of heart disease or other health conditions, get your doctor’s approval prior to exercising outdoors.
- Don’t forget to warm up. It’s important to prime your soft tissues and muscles with lunges, high knees, jogging-in-place, and ankle circles.
- Keep your feet safe. When your body gets cold, blood travels to the most vital parts of your body first, like your brain and heart. Consequently, the feet and hands lose out. So be sure to wear thick, warm mittens and socks. You can even insert hand warmers into your shoes and mittens. Your boots or shoes should have supportive soles with good traction for navigating ice and snow.
- Drink plenty of water before, during, and after your workout. Your body loses the moisture that it needs to be replenished.
- Layer up. Wear layers of warm clothes and be prepared to remove some as you warm up. The more active you are in the cold weather, the more you’ll appreciate how your body reacts to various temperature changes and how you should prepare for them.
Your feet will benefit greatly from regular exercise! Our experienced podiatric surgeons at Greater Philadelphia’s Your Next Step Foot and Ankle Care Center want to help our patients stay healthy and active during the winter. If ankle or foot pain stops you from working out, click here to locate contact information for the office nearest you to schedule a consultation.