When the weather starts getting cold, it can be easy to just want to curl up with a blanket and hibernate until spring. But keeping up with your physical wellness has great benefits not just for your body but for your mind as well. Here at Healthy365, we’ve got some cold weather workout tips for Hancock County residents to help you stay healthy all season long.
Dress in layers for cold weather
If you’re choosing to workout, run or walk outdoors this fall and winter, make sure to be prepared by watching the weather forecast. Stock up on winter workout essentials like thermal clothing, thick leggings, and wicking layers that are easy to remove or put back on depending on temperature. Remember that when it gets colder, your blood flow becomes concentrated in the core of your body, meaning that your head and extremities are more susceptible for frostbite. Try wicking glove liners with heavier gloves over top to keep those hands warm. And investing in a warm hat or headband (you can even purchase warm headbands with speakers) will keep that body heat from escaping through your head.
Don’t forget your cold workout safety gear
After Daylight Savings Time ends on Nov. 7, the sun will be rising later and setting earlier. If you need to go for a run in the dark, make sure to purchase a reflective vest or wearable light so that you can easily be seen by other runners or drivers on the road. If you’re doing an outdoor workout during the day, make sure to put sunscreen on any exposed skin. You may not always think about getting sunburnt in the winter, but it’s definitely still possible so keep the sunscreen handy. If it is extremely cold outside but you still want to squeeze in a workout, you may want to invest in a ski mask or gaiter to cover your face. And keep in mind the symptoms of frostbite, including redness or numbness, as well as hypothermia, which can include shivering, confusion or slurred speech.
Find an indoor facility when it’s too cold out
When it’s just too cold to exercise outdoors, look for an indoor gym or facility that allows you to continue your wellness journey. Here in Hancock County, there are three Hancock Wellness Centers located in Greenfield, McCordsville and New Palestine that each offer a variety of classes, equipment, resources and even childcare. There are walking tracks available at McCordsville and New Palestine, as well as full-size swimming pools at McCordsville and Greenfield. In addition to working out, you can also take advantage of their massage, wellness education, diabetes care, physical therapy and more. If you just want to use the facility when it’s extra cold out, you can purchase a full-access day pass for $10. Alternatively, you can invest in a monthly membership for you and your family, with primary program access and discounts on additional services.
Focus on your mental wellness
Keeping up with your physical health can seem harder during the winter than any other time of year. But it also may be the most important time of year to do so. Seasonal Affective Disorder is a type of depression that can affect your energy, sleep or weight specifically in the winter months. Or you may struggle with depression and anxiety year-round, but it feels worse in the winter due to the lack of light or time spent outside. For most people, working out will boost endorphins and reduce stress, improving your overall mental wellness. If you find yourself continuing to struggle with mental illness, Healthy365 can help with connections to support groups, mental health professionals and more.
Reach out to a Support Navigator today so that we can assist you in assessing needs and finding local resources to best serve your or your loved one’s mental wellbeing.