Don’t Hibernate: Winterize Your Workout

Monday, January 28, 2013

 

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The snow has started to fly, the cold weather is setting in, so what’s in store for your workouts? New England Sinai Physical Therapy recommends 30-60 minutes of moderate activity, 5 days per week for cardiovascular health. “Unfortunately, many people become less active in the cold, but it’s not necessary to stay inside as long as you play it safe,” says Stoughton, Mass. physical therapist, Lori Laliberte. Follow these tips to stay safely active during the winter months.

  • Stay warm and dry to assure safe exercise performance
    • Wear a hat to prevent heat loss through your head
    • Wear mittens, not gloves, because they allow your hands to breathe and warm the air around your fingers
    • Wear layers that allow exercise-generated dampness to be wicked away from your skin to keep you warm and dry. Don’t wear cotton. Invest in sport wear and “long underwear” in a warmth level corresponding to the activity you’re choosing
    • If you have breathing difficulties, wear a fleece tube around your neck and mouth to warm the air as you breathe in.
  • Stay hydrated. On cold days, you might not realize how thirsty you are, and you could risk dehydration with exercise. Drink a sports drink with exercise lasting more than 1 hour. Water is sufficient with exercise lasting less than 1 hour.
  • Wear snow and ice traction devices on your shoes to keep you from slipping on icy spots that might not appear slippery.
  • Stay flexible. Keep your muscles, tendons and joints limber to improve your mobility during exercise. TRY THIS: Sitting in a chair, straighten your knee, then pull your ankle up toward your nose and hold it there for one minute. You should feel a pull behind your leg.
  • Stay strong. A decline in strength starts in the 3rd decade of life and accelerates during the 6th and 7th decades at approximately 8% per decade. Staying strong means keeping your workouts challenging. TRY THIS: Standing tall at the kitchen counter, kick one leg out behind you at a 45 degree angle. You should feel the muscle on the side of your other hip working. Repeat with the opposite leg.
  • Focus on your balance to prevent falls. TRY THIS: Balance on one foot without holding on. Normal ability for people < 64 years old is 1 minute, > 64 years old is 30 seconds.

The New Year is about resolutions. Do not bring along that annoying ache or pain into the new year. Visit us at New England Sinai Physical Therapy and start the new year with a healthy and pain-free perspective.

About New England Sinai

New England Sinai Hospital is a member of Steward Health Care, the largest fully integrated community care organization in New England. New England Sinai Hospital is a 212-bed, long-term acute care hospital offering state-of-the-art medical technology and a highly skilled staff. New England Sinai Hospital is recognized as a premiere regional specialty hospital, delivering quality pulmonary and complex medical care as well as ambulatory services and outpatient rehabilitation services such as physical therapy to residents of Stoughton, Canton and Southeastern Massachusetts. To learn more visit www.newenglandsinai.org.


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