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Winter Exercise Tips
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When we’re in the throes of winter and the weather outside is frightful, many people just want to “hibernate.” But certified personal trainer Lynn Bode reminds us that hibernating is for bears. As humans we need to stay active through all four seasons. The key to successful winter time workouts, says Bode, is planning and employing safety precautions.

If you find yourself in a climate where the outdoor temperatures drop considerably during winter months, consider these tips for participating in cold-weather activities:

1. Wear a hat or cap. You’re going to lose a lot of heat if you don’t. And leaving your head exposed may lead to sickness. Dressing your body in layers provides the most effective heating method. It also allows you to remove tops layers if you become too warm.

2. Do gentle stretches before and after. Warm your muscles before vigorous exercise, then cool them down before completely stopping movement.

3. Protect your skin. If you’re going to be outside for more than 15 or 20 minutes, apply sunscreen. This is especially important while skiing or sledding. Sunlight reflecting off the snow can give you a bad sunburn, particularly at high altitudes. Since the cold also dries your skin, wear extra moisturizing lotion.

4. Drink up! It’s just as important to stay hydrated when exercising in winter as in summer, even if you don’t feel as thirsty.

5. Use the buddy system. If you have an exercising partner, you not only encourage each other when the weather is disagreeable, you’re there to help in case of emergencies.

6. Always exercise safely. If it’s too cold or icy outside, make alternative plans. If you end up with a broken leg (or worse) your exercise program may be totally frozen for weeks.

By staying fit during the winter months you will avoid losing strength and stamina, caused by inactivity. And when spring arrives, you’ll be looking and feeling better than those just coming out of hibernation!

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By Brenda Forbes Dickerson. Copyright © 2009 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines.



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