Winter Fitness Tips

Jim Vernadakis PTA, Assistant Director of Rehabilitation Services

Have you made your New Year’s Resolution yet? The most common for the New Year is to lose weight and as we all know diet alone may not be enough. If you are not one for expensive health clubs or personal trainers, a simple walking program may be for you, and consider that exercising in the cold burns more calories!

Here are a few tips, but most importantly always see your doctor before starting any exercise program.

1. Check the thermometer and dress accordingly. The National Safety Council states that temperatures as low as 20 degrees with a 30 mph wind is safe to exercise in provided you dress properly.
2. Dress in layers. The inner layer should be of material that whisks moisture away. Wear wind repellant fabrics such as Gore-Tex.
3. Start slowly. Until you’ve mastered the cold weather, shorten your workout. If you usually walk 4 miles in warm weather, begin with 2 miles and slowly increase.
4. Protect your skin. Limit skin exposure and wear sunscreen on uncovered skin. Watch for signs of frostbite!!!
5. Try to workout later as temperatures warm.

Here are a few popular cold weather activities and estimated calories burned in 60 minutes:
• Ice Skating – 500 calories
• Cross country skiing – 500 calories
• Downhill skiing – 300 calories
• Walking – 200 to 300 calories

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