Tips for Staying Active in Cold Weather
For many of us, winter tends to come with a slowdown in our activity.
Some of this might be blamed on the initial hustle of a holiday season. Some of it can even be attributable to fewer hours of light and a desire to just kind of pseudo-hibernate until spring.
But if you spent all summer hitting the roads and trails, the weather itself is probably the biggest factor. Few things can kill motivation faster than seeing snow in the forecast or getting a blast of chilled wind to the face when you open the door.
However, staying more active during the winter is not impossible—and you don’t need to be some kind of hardened Spartan warrior to do so. It takes just a bit of preparation, dedication, and flexibility.
We have a few tips for you when it comes to cold weather activity—and particularly when it comes to keeping your feet safe in the cold and ice. And if you ever have any additional questions about the best ways to keep your feet moving in winter, do not hesitate to reach out to us.
Equip the Right Cold-Weather Footwear
You knew we wouldn’t create a list like this without talking about what you put on your feet.
The running shoes you wear in the summer likely aren’t going to cut it out there when the environment turns colder and snowy. You may just end up with miserably cold feet and shoes full of slush.
Good winter running shoes have as little mesh as possible to keep wetness from getting in. Uppers made of Gore-Tex are ideal.
And don’t forget your socks, either. Running socks in winter should keep wetness away from your feet, but keep them warm at the same time. Non-itchy wool socks made for running should accomplish this goal well.
Now, traction. If you are running (or even walking) on terrain that can get icy and unstable, consider investing in a pair of slip-on traction aids. YakTrax is a common brand name for this type of gear. You will want to take them off when the pavement or trails improve to keep them from wearing down, however.
Whatever you decide to do for traction, don’t become too confident with it. Even with the right gear, take care when running over ice or rough terrain. You can still suffer a sprain or other sports injury if you’re not paying attention where you step.
Try a Winter Sport
If what you love to do is not well made for winter, then maybe consider something that is!
If you enjoy running, perhaps cross-country skiing would be an enjoyable winter alternative. There’s always ice skating, downhill skiing, and snowboarding, too.
One of the hidden benefits of winter sports is that their seasonal time limit can be a motivating factor. You can only keep it up as long as the snow and cold last, so you’ll be more likely to make every opportunity count.
Warm Up Indoors
Warming up before activity is important regardless of the season. Doing so prepares your body for the higher stresses you will place upon it and help prevent overuse injuries such as stress fractures or plantar fasciitis.
If you take your warm-up indoors, however, it will help you stay warm when you head out for the real workout. You also won’t have to wear your winter gear while doing so, which means less sweating before you step out into cold.
What does an indoor warm-up look like? Do a few runs up and down the stairs if you have them, jump rope, or try some jogging in place. You can even pull off a bit of yoga for stretching! We can help you determine the best ways to personally warm up and stretch before your workouts.
Be Flexible and Forgiving
If you have a set routine, you may feel like you must lock yourself into a commitment. The stark truth, though, is that you can change what you do. The one thing you can’t change is the weather.
Do not force yourself to go out in extreme conditions to complete your routines. You may be risking your safety and health in doing so—plus you’ll be miserable.
Think smarter, however, and you can still get a lot of your workouts in. Instead of doing one long run and exposing yourself to bitter cold the whole time, choose to run half at one point of the day and half at another.
Similarly, if the wind chill is a factor, don’t spend your whole time facing it. This is especially true later on in your workouts, when you might be sweating more and the chill of the wind can have a greater impact.
And when the weather gets really bad? Choose an indoor routine or… hold off until things clear. We know that can feel like a buzzkill, but you really don’t want to do anything that could lay you up and leave you missing out on other opportunities down the road.
Be Your Best for Every Season
No matter how warm or cold our seasons get, one thing is always important to your activities: making sure your feet and ankles are at their best!
If you are having issues with heel pain, ankle stiffness, or anything else that is getting in the way of your movement, do not wait to get treatment. The longer you do, the more likely these problems can become chronic and more debilitating.
Come to Premier Podiatry Group and we will get you back to full power as quickly as possible—and help you stay moving in safe ways in the meantime.
Call either of our two offices to schedule an appointment: