While the colder months can bring harsh weather, they don’t have to put an end to your outdoor exercise routine. In fact, many people prefer going on a brisk run in the winter! Regardless of your preference when it comes to working out, it is important to take the proper precautions when it comes to exercising outdoors this winter.
When exercising in colder temperatures, your muscles tighten and make you more susceptible to injury. Always be sure to stretch and warm-up before beginning your workout, and incorporate a cool-down exercise before coming back inside to continue about your daily activities. Always listen to your body and make a note of any unusual pain or tightness you may be experiencing.
Common sports-related injuries that many runners can face this time of year include:
- Runners Knee
- Achilles Tendonitis
- Hamstring complications
- Plantar fasciitis
- Shin splints
- Stress fractures
- Iliotibial Band Syndrome (ITBS)
So how can you help avoid these sports-related injuries? In addition to keeping a healthy flexibility routine, you will want to keep an eye on the temperature as some temperatures are too low to safely exercise outdoors. Always factor in wind chill when planning your run and workout attire instead of relying only on the given temperature. If the temperature drops below zero degrees Fahrenheit you will want to opt for an indoor workout instead of braving the cold.
As you should with any workout, always wear proper footwear and moisture-wicking socks when exercising. Keep an eye out for any black ice that may be hidden along your route. Consider altering your stride to account for slippery conditions and to give you better traction and balance.
Strengthening your core muscles can also help keep you protected from sports-related injuries this winter. Having a strong core can help take some of the strain off of your legs, feet and ankles while running. Consider supplementing your running workout with a lifting routine or exercises that target these areas.
Incorporate rest in your routine as well. The winter months can be a great opportunity for your body to rejuvenate. If the temperature is too low to go for a run, choose to use that time to work on your flexibility and strength instead of endurance. Remember that it is better to rest for a day than to push too hard in harsh temperatures and potentially hurt yourself.
Our team here at Proactive Foot & Ankle Associates is here to help answer any questions you may have about your winter training. If you are experiencing any pain or would like to schedule a consultation to see how you can alter your routine to improve your foot and ankle health, contact Proactive Foot and Ankle Associates today.