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Cold days can make you want to stay in bed, snuggled up under warm blankets; but heading outdoors to get in some exercise can be just what the doctor ordered.
Colder temperatures shouldn’t discourage you from outdoor activity. In fact, heading outside for exercise during the winter can have some benefits:
Be sure to check the forecast and protect yourself from the elements before heading outside.
The risk of frostbite is less than 5 percent when the air temperature is 5 degrees or more, but when the wind chill drops to -18 degrees or less, frostbite can set in within 30 minutes or less.
Follow a few simple tips to protect yourself when heading outdoors:
If the weather gets too chilly during a workout, remember sometimes “close enough” is good. The American Heart Association recommends 150 minutes — or about 30 minutes, five days a week — of moderate-intensity level workouts.
If you must cut your outdoor walk short and get in only 20 minutes, don’t fret. Remember that getting in some exercise is better than nothing.
If it’s too cold for you take that outdoor walk or run, there are still ways to get exercise without a gym membership. Try heading to the mall for a walk, do some housework, dance, go bowling or roller skating, climb the stairs or enjoy yoga or another exercise class.
Explore fitness classes and programs at Edward-Elmhurst Health & Fitness Centers.
Know your risk for heart disease. Take a free, 5-minute test that could save your life.
Don’t hibernate: the surprising benefits of staying active in the winter
Learn more from Healthy Driven Chicago:
Six ways exercise benefits your health
Taking intimidation out of fitness
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