Dr. Leipzig is a board-certified, Salem, Virginia spine surgeon with over two decades of experience. He specializes in procedures including robotic spine surgery, microsurgical lumbar surgery, disc arthroplasty, minimally invasive spine surgery, and more, serving the greater Roanoke, VA area. To learn more or schedule an appointment, please contact our office.
Just because it’s cold outside does not mean you should be stuck inside on the treadmill. According to Rozalynn Frazier of huffingtonpost.com, just five minutes of exercising in the fresh air can boost your energy and mood. However, it’s important to avoid cold-weather mishaps. Follow these tips from Jonathan Cane, President of New York City’s City Coach MultiSport, a coaching resource for runners and triathletes:
- Don’t Dress For Siberia
Wearing layers is important, but don’t overdo it. Dress as though it’s 20 degrees warmer than the actual temp. “You want to feel a little chilly when you start,” Cane says. “Once you get going, your body temp will rise, and you’ll feel warmer.”
- Think Nylon, Not Cotton
Start with a base-layer top made of a sweat-wicking fabric, like Dri-FIT. Steer clear of cotton, which traps moisture and draws heat away from your body. Running tights will usually keep your legs warm, but if the temperature drops below 20 degrees, switch to a fleece-lined pair.
- Prep Before You Step
Cold muscles are less flexible, so to prime them, start with a brisk walk or light jog. “This warms your core, increases blood-flow to your muscles and lubricates your joints,” Cane notes, which helps you move more efficiently and burn more calories. To lessen your risk of pesky pulls and strains, save stretching for your post-run, when your muscles are looser. But step inside first, because cold air mixed with sweat can give you major chills.
- Keep Your Stride Slip-Free
Don’t be afraid to pound the powder unless it’s icy. Slick surfaces offer less traction, which increases the chance of slipping. Snow running is similar to grass or dirt running. The unstable ground adds resistance, making you engage your core and work your body harder. Just be sure to shorten your stride to prevent nasty slips and spills.
- Drink Up!
Hydration is key. Drier air in winter can lead to dehydration, so don’t slack on drinking water or other hydrating drinks.
Winterize your run and contact Virginia Spine Care if you need top-notch orthopedic care. Happy holidays.