American Osteopathic Association

Advancing the distinctive philosophy and practice of osteopathic medicine

Staying Active Can Boost Your Mood in Any Weather

While very hot or cold weather might make an outdoor workout less appealing, health experts urge keeping exercise in your everyday routine regardless of the weather.

“The advantages of regular exercise are too great to be put on hold when workouts become inconvenient,” explains Joseph Giaimo, DO, an osteopathic internal medicine physician. 

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Staying Active Indoors

“Regular workouts will improve your mood, increase your energy level and help you sleep better at night,” Dr. Giaimo says.  

To battle the cold and hot weather excuses, Dr. Giaimo recommends moving your workout indoors with these ideas: 

  • Walk the mall as an indoor track.  

  • Be social by joining a class or indoor sports team.

  • Build stamina by swimming indoors.

Optimizing Your Exercise Routine for the Weather

Being prepared for the elements can help you exercise outdoors regardless of the weather conditions.

Suit up safely in the winter by:
  • Dressing in layers. "That way, as your body temperature rises during the workout, you can peel away the layers you no longer need," says Dr. GiaimoStart with a thin synthetic material to draw sweat away from your body. Your second layer should be an insulating layer to keep you warm, but also allow water vapor to pass through. Finally, top with a waterproof, breathable outer layer to protect you from the winter elements

  • Covering your extremities, paying special attention to your fingers, toes and ears, where you are most susceptible to frostbite.

During warmer weather months: 

  • Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water.

  • When applying sunscreen, don't forget to also apply insect repellent for protection from bug bites.

Regardless of the season, take safety precautions if you're exercising in the dark by wearing a reflective outer layer. If the surface of the ground is uneven due to weather conditions, choose footwear with enough traction to prevent falls.

Doctors of Osteopathic Medicine, or DOs, look beyond your symptoms to understand how lifestyle and environmental factors affect your wellbeing. They listen and partner with you to help you get healthy and stay well.

 

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