No matter if you like skiing, ice skating, or snowshoeing, winter exercise can give you a great workout. However, exercising in the winter can be quite different from fall, spring and summer activities. Be sure to keep some basic information about temperature changes in mind in order to achieve optimal results.
Examples of Winter Exercise
One of the most common types of winter exercise is skiing. Skiing can be broken up into a number of subcategories, including downhill skiing, cross-country skiing, and ski jumping. All of these types of winter activities require a great deal of athletic skill. In general, it is best to get at least some coaching or training before attempting any of these exercises. Other types of winter exercise that can be done with greater ease include winter hiking, snowshoeing, and ice skating.
One of the major differences between winter exercise and that of other seasons is that winter exercise is obviously done in a much colder climate. Because of this, winter exercisers must take certain precautions before heading out onto the slopes or the ice rink. For starters, when exercising in the winter, be sure to dress in several layers instead of one very heavy piece of clothing. If you are wearing several layers and start to get warm as your body heats up from the activity, you can slowly take some of the clothing off piece by piece. In contrast, if you are wearing only a heavy sweatshirt, jacket, or other piece of protective wear, and begin to get hot, you are stuck until you can get home and remove the clothing.
In addition, staying hydrated can be a bit of an issue during winter sports. In the summer, spring, and fall, you typically sweat quite a bit during exercise. In contrast, you may sweat only a small amount during winter exercise. This may lead you to the mistaken belief that you have not lost as much water, and therefore, don’t need to drink as much during recovery. This can lead to major dehydration. Be sure to drink at least eight ounces of water for each hour of exercise you perform, no matter what the temperature or season.
Risks of Falls
Finally, one of the most important health risks associated with exercising during the winter months is a risk of falls. This is especially important in areas where temperatures can get below freezing, as water can freeze, leading to slick ice spots. Individuals of all ages may slip and experience a fall, however, elderly people who fall during the winter are much more likely to suffer from a broken or fractured bone. Be sure to use caution when exercising in the winter in areas where ice is common. Some people have found success from attaching “ice claws” to their shoes. These are a type of clip that acts as a ice pick on the ice and snow, and can be very effective in preventing slips, falls, and other injuries.