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Don’t Let Your Cold Feet Stop You From Exercising!

Cold Feet? Don’t Sweat it!

Alyssa Nishihira, Village Osteopath

Being born and raised in Hawaii, I love the outdoors. With that said, I think anyone that wants to exercise outside in the winter is CRAZY. Since I’ll be experiencing an Indiana winter for the first time, I decided to research and share some tips on how to keep outdoor exercise up even when the temperature drops on the off chance I join the rest of the Hoosiers on their outdoor run. Whether you are thinking about working out outdoors or indoors, you should always consult your physician before beginning a new exercise plan. At a minimum, all adults should visit a physician for a yearly physical (you still have time before 2013 to visit Dr. Nall for yours!).

Work the Cold

Instead of cozying up in bed, use the cold to your workout advantage! During the warmer months, the heat and humidity can be a drag and make you tired, sweaty, and hot more quickly than in cooler weather, decreasing your workout time. Whether you’re outdoors or in, channel the power of the cooler temperature, which is naturally more invigorating and refreshing. But that’s not just a ‘feeling’ – there is a biological reason for that. Because your body works harder in the cold, your endorphin production during exercise is even greater than during the warm weather workouts. These endorphins can help combat the onset of SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder), the stress, and the waist bulge all possible during the holidays!
Still Have Cold Feet? Here Are Some Tips
  1. Warm Up – this may sound obvious, but I’m not talking about sitting by the fireplace pre-workout! If you’re going outdoors, walk briskly around the house or do jumping jacks for five minutes before heading out. A good warm up is key to muscle flexibility and injury prevention.
  2. Hydrate – for me, colder weather naturally means more coffee! Beware: caffeine is a diuretic and will dehydrate your body if with inadequate water intake. Remember to drink enough water – a minimum of 64 oz, or approximately 8 glasses a day. Cold weather and exercise also demand more water intake. A good rule of thumb to measure hydration levels is to check your urine. Yellow indicates you need to drink more water, whereas clear or light yellow indicates a well hydrated body!
  3. Breathe – The lack of humidity and cold air temperature are two reasons why airway passages tend to narrow with colder weather, making inhalation more difficult. If you’re working out at a lower exertion rate, breathing through your nose will warm and humidify air. Sporting a layer over your mouth, whether a high-zip jacket or bandana, is another option, especially if you’re an outdoor exerciser working at higher intensities.
  4. Use the Buddy System – what’s worse than losing kids while Christmas shopping? Nothing…except for not having someone to work out with! Make workout plans with a friend as a fun and energizing way to spend some quality time. Utilize the buddy system – you’ll be less likely to skip a workout and successfully combat that unwanted winter weight gain.
  5. Cool (Not Freeze) Down – Stretch inside before you leave the gym post-workout, or after a brisk cool down walk if you exercise outdoors. For those with a gym membership, take advantage of common features such as the sauna or Jacuzzi after your workout to keep your muscles warm as you wind down.
Don’t let the cold weather inhibit your workout regimen!
Start working on your New Year’s Resolution to lose weight, be healthier, and exercise more early – aka NOW! By finding time to exercise now, you can experience the benefits during the holiday season:
  • Decrease your stress – exercise induces endorphins!
  • Awareness is half the battle – When you exercise, you’ll naturally ‘feel’ healthier and be more consious of your dietary habits. 
  • Guarantee future success – Have a routine that will be easier to maintain after the New Year
  • Increase your sense of peace – Keep some time for yourself, away from the hustle and bustle
A yearly physical exam is a must for all adults to manage and maintain your health, and is highly recommended before beginning any new exercise routine. Haven’t had one this year? Depending on your insurance, now could be the best time for you to see Dr. Nall for a physical exam before your deductible resets in January.


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Village Osteopath
15510 Herriman Blvd
Noblesville, IN 46060
(317) 491-5272
(317) 324-3183 (fax)