CLEVELAND – As the snow continues to fall this winter, it can be hard to find the motivation to go to the gym.
But, Marie Schaefer, MD, sports medicine specialist for Cleveland Clinic, said there are still plenty of other ways to stay active.
“In the colder weather months, I think staying active can be as simple as in the warmer months, but sometimes you need to do a little more preparation for it,” Dr. Schaefer explained.
She knows it may not seem ideal, but running, walking and hiking outdoors offers a lot of great health benefits. For example, cold weather can help you burn more calories. It can also feel invigorating to get some fresh air and sunshine.
Another option is to take advantage of winter sports, like skiing, cross-country skiing, snowboarding, ice skating or hockey. Of course, those activities do require more gear.
Dr. Schaefer said if you are planning to exercise outdoors, be sure to dress appropriately and keep an eye out for ice on the ground.
“Even though it might be snowing, it could also be very sunny outside and there’s a big glare coming off of the white snow and you can actually get sunburn and windburn in the winter doing activities outside,” she said. “So, not only do you need to worry about frostbite but also that as well.”
Dr. Schaefer said if exercising outdoors doesn’t sound very appealing, you could also work out at home instead. There are all kinds of programs available online, many times for free.