How to Exercise Safely Outside in the Fall and Winter

Make sure you have the right shoes for the weather, too, said Dr. gold water. When it rains, snows or is icy, you need shoes with a pronounced tread on the bottom to ensure good traction. (That means if it’s pretty icy or snowy, you might want to stay home, Dr. Fleeter said.)

If you’re exercising in low temperatures, keep drinking even if you don’t feel thirsty, said Dr. Fleeter. When it’s cold, the body releases a hormone called vasopressin, which constricts blood vessels and also quenches thirst, so you may not feel the need to drink water even though you do, he explained. Also, when you exercise in the cold, your body burns extra calories to stay warm, so you might want to eat a little more than usual to keep your energy up, he added.

Be sure to stretch your muscles before an outdoor winter workout, said Dr. Goldwaser, as muscles and ligaments can easily tear in the cold. He recommended dynamic stretches that gently and briefly stretch different muscle groups. Dynamic stretches can be safer than static stretches that you hold for long periods of time, he said, because static stretches can strain cold muscles.

Whenever you exercise alone outdoors, be sure to tell someone where you are going or bring a phone in case you injure yourself, advised Dr. Terrell. If you’re nervous about encountering animals or other hazards, you should also bring pepper spray or bear spray if it’s legal where you live.

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Never exercise outdoors during a thunderstorm, said Dr. gold water; The chances of getting struck by lightning are slim, but big enough to warrant caution. dr Terrell suggested checking the weather forecast before going outdoors to make sure bad weather wasn’t in the offing. If you occasionally need to take your workout indoors, “have a plan B,” said Dr. Terrell so you can still move. For example, I make barre videos in my basement.

dr Fleeter said you should never exercise outside when the temperature or wind is below -10 degrees Fahrenheit because the risk of frostbite is high. You might also want to stay inside when it’s a bit warmer, depending on what you’ll be doing. When you ride a bike, you’ll encounter wind, which makes you feel colder, said Dr. canals He advises against cycling below 15 degrees and he advises against running when the temperature is below 5 degrees.

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