Information and opinions presented here do not always represent the views of the American Heart Association.

Working out in cooler weather

Published: 5:30 pm CDT, November 13, 2012

If you’ve been exercising outdoors lately you might be feeling more like a popsicle after a workout than heart healthy. As the temperatures start to drop many people find it more difficult to get their daily physical activity. Exercising outdoors during the Fall and Winter presents some chilly challenges but it’s nothing that can’t be overcome!

When in doubt, head inside. For people with heart disease, cold weather can put added strain on your heart so moving your exercise regime to the great indoors may be the best option. This one is actually my personal favorite. Sweating and shivering at the same time has never been my cup of tea. But you can still get a great workout by heading to the gym or spending some quality time with your treadmill!

Check out the American Heart Association’s tips for cold weather and cardiovascular disease.

If you insist on braving the cold, make sure you stretch and warm up first. A chilly day can make muscles tighter. So it’s especially important to make sure you stretch well before any exercise in order to prevent injury. I try to spend at least 20 seconds on each stretch to make sure that I’m loose and my muscles are ready to battle the cold. Many people forget about warming up before they head out into the frosty air, but it’s important to gradually ease your heart and body into a workout.

Try adding darker colors to your workout wardrobe. They’ll absorb more light and heat and can keep the chills at bay while you squeeze in a few more reps! My must-have winter workout accessory is a hat or a head scarf. A lot of heat can be lost through your head, so keeping your noggin bundled up is a great way to stay warm and prolong your workout!

If you can, try switching your workout to the warmer times of the day. In the early morning or late evening, temperatures are lower which might result in unnecessary shivering.

What simple tips do you have for getting physical activity in the cooler weather? Share your thoughts with us! We’d love to hear from you.

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  • http://www.flcardiacsolutions.com Christian Marin

    Great tips! I always hate running in the cold because my lungs hurt so badly from the cold air. Thanks