After a Cold Winter Ease Back into Outdoor Exercise

Heart Health News

Getting back into an outdoor exercise routine after taking a relaxed route during winter can be an exciting change. However, experts say it’s important to remember to ease back into your full outdoor exercise plan. 

If you kept a solid workout routine throughout the winter, your body might not need as much time to ease back into exercise. But, if you took it easy by avoiding the cold in the winter, you need to be careful to avoid injuries when jumping back into a springtime workout.

Planning your annual physical around when you’re ready to start your spring workout routine will give your physician a chance to examine your health status before you start, according to the American Running Association (ARA).

When you do start working out, make sure to warm up, stretch and get your body ready to start. 

If you’re a runner, for example, try starting off walking, then jogging, before you jump back into running. While your mind might be ready to jump back into a miles-long run, your body will appreciate you taking the time to rebuild your pace and distance, according to the ARA.

Alternating between easy workout days and hard ones is another suggestion the ARA offers for easing back into springtime workouts. Your body will make strides in strength and endurance by having time to recover, rather than being overworked.

If you do find yourself with soreness and other symptoms of overuse, the ARA recommends following the RICE plan:

  • Rest – Give your body time to recover
  • Ice – Use an ice pack in 15 minute intervals, several times a day
  • Compression – Wrap an elastic bandage to apply pressure during and after using the ice pack. Take it off while you sleep.
  • Elevation – Keep the injured area lifted above the heart level as often as possible

By planning a slow, steady start back into working out, you will have the best chance at reaching your exercise goals without injury.

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