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(Safely) Walking in a Winter Wonderland *

Winter can be a great time to get some fresh air and get your heart pumping.

Winter can be a great time to get some fresh air and get your heart pumping.

We have been quite spoiled with the mild weather so far this winter, haven’t we? The forecast does call for chillier days ahead however. Don’t let the chilly temperatures keep you from enjoying the beauty of winter! If you take your workout outside, follow these safety tips.

1. Warm up for 10 minutes. Starting slowly will give your muscles the chance to warm up, which prevents injury.

2. Walk at a safe pace. Winter roads and paths can be icy, so it’s best to walk at a moderate or slow pace. Keep your strides small; the bigger your strides, the higher your risk for falling.

3. Bring water. Dry winter air is dehydrating, and even though you may not realize it, you are sweating.

4. Wear protective gear. In addition to a hat and gloves, a scarf or mask worn loosely over your nose and mouth will prevent the sting of icy cold air when you inhale. Sunglasses or goggles will eliminate the glare from the snow.

5. Wear proper shoes. It’s best to choose shoes with lugged soles for traction. It’s also a good idea to bring along an inexpensive pair of ski or walking poles to help keep your balance. (The poles will also help you burn extra calories because your upper body is getting a workout too.)

6. Know when it’s best to stay inside. Take your workout indoors if you’d be risking frostbite (temperatures around -20 degrees F, including any wind chill), if it’s icy, or if you’d encounter dangerous traffic.

Apex Orthopedic Rehabilitation in Paramus, NJ provides orthopedic and sports physical therapy services for the greater Ridgewood, Paramus, and Bergen County region. This blog is intended for informational purposes only and should not be used for diagnostic or prescriptive purposes. The views expressed here are the author’s views and should be taken as suggestions. Always consult your doctor or healthcare practitioner before engaging in a physical therapy or rehabilitative program.

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