Don’t let the cold temperatures scare you, exercising outdoors is good for your health.
University of Alberta physician, Dr. Doug Klein has revealed how to safely exercise outside during the winter months.
“Getting outside in the winter is really important. I believe that particularly in Edmonton and surrounding areas, winter can be long and if we end up just staying inside through all of winter, that’s a long period of time,” said Dr. Klein.
He said the benefits to exercising outside include getting that needed sunshine and fresh air, which is important all year long.
With the amount of daylight shorter in the winter, Dr. Klein suggested timing an exercise to take advantage of the sunshine.
“We know that there’s a lot of benefits to ‘green’ exercise and so getting out and getting into some of the park space, we’ve got a great river valley to enjoy. It’s really important to do that and make the most of winter,” added Dr. Klein.
With snow and cold temperatures, proper clothing and footwear are vital. Dress in layers, some are used to soak up sweat, but then you can peel off a layer if you get too warm.
“If you have a bulky jacket you might find that you don’t have that flexibility,” he noted.
Dr. Klein said it has been a challenging season to be exercising outside with the amount of ice around.
Tips for staying on your feet include, adding spikes to footwear, using walking poles and choosing a path that is already broken in and stairs that have been cleared off.
As to whether or not it is dangerous to exercise in cold temperatures, Dr. Klein said in general; it is safe.
“Certainly people who have lung conditions need to be careful. Those people with asthma, cold air is a trigger for them, so they need to be cautious about that,” said Dr. Klein. “Most people tend to not have issues with their lungs and so are perfectly safe to be out.”
The last thing to remember is to hydrate before and after an exercise with water. There is no need for sports drinks such as Gatorade, unless doing an extended period of exercise where electrolytes need to be replaced.

Of corse this applies to winter days where Environment Canada has not issued an extreme cold warning.

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