The Secret to Enjoying Exercise During the Winter
It’s time to pack away those summer clothes and flip-flops, and save the swimwear for another few months. But although the cold weather has arrived in the Northwest, that doesn’t mean you need to pack away your athletic shoes and workout gear.
If you have been thinking about packing away your workout items, think about this simple fact:
During the colder months (November-April especially), our clinic is flooded with people suffering from lower back pain.
The largest contributing factor to this surge in lower back pain is really quite simple: people spend much more time indoors, and particularly more time sitting indoors, during theses colder months. And this decrease in activity causes all sorts of problems, including lower back pain (and weight gain for many).
During the summer, it’s easy to love being active and “outdoorsy”. Who doesn’t enjoy being outside when it’s warm and sunny…taking walks, riding bikes, going to the park with kids/grandkids, hiking and swimming. It feels great to be outside, and the Vitamin D helps too (since most of us are deficient).
But it’s just as easy to fall out of love with staying active when the dark sky starts to set in early and the sun starts to hide. All of a sudden, hanging around outside might seem like more of a chore than an escape.
It becomes easy to look out your window and decide to skip that regular walk that you were doing only just last week. Much easier to take a drive instead or stay inside a have another cup of coffee.
All of this extra sitting can start to add up and be really hard on your back, especially if you’ve already had back pain before or if you have the beginnings of back pain now.
So, what’s the best way to keep just as active as you were during the summer to avoid lower back pain?
I have a simple solution for you – don’t change a thing.
Instead, continue to go for walks and bike rides, continue to go running through her neighborhood, and continue to visit parks with your kids and grandkids (maybe even take them skiing or sledding!).
Your exercise routine doesn’t have to change one bit…you just might need to change how you do it.
The biggest change you’ll want to make of course is to adjust your clothing for the colder temperatures. The best way to regulate your temperature and decrease your risk of injury is by layering up with the correct clothing.
For the most part, you’ll want to bundle up from your head to your toes in at least one layer. This would include a light hat, even if you plan on sweating during your run. By wearing multiple layers, including things like gloves and a warm outer jacket, you’ll be able to control your core temperature and enjoy exercising just like you did in the summer.
Hopefully this gives you a good excuse to get outside, instead of a good excuse to stay indoors. And the best part: your body with thank you for it! And your family probably will too, since you’ll be pumping out so many endorphins J
I’m looking forward to seeing many of you walking and running around town.
If you’d like more information on treating lower back pain (or other injuries that can slow down your exercising), send an email to info@GordonPhysicalTherapy.com, and I’ll see what I can do to help!