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DEAR MAYO CLINIC: I am an active 43-year-old female who enjoys exercising and staying in shape. I usually try to work out at least three days per week at the gym, but I also like to exercise and run outside. Recently, I moved to a colder climate. As winter begins, should I do anything differently to exercise safely outdoors in cold weather?
ANSWER: It is great that you are dedicated to staying healthy through exercise. Being active at all ages is recommended to improve overall health.
It's easy to lose motivation to exercise when it's cold outside. However, you can remain active and exercise safely, especially outdoors, during the winter. A general rule to follow when exercising in the cold is to work your way slowly into the exercises. Also, start with lower loads or intensity.
Here are five additional helpful tips for staying active outdoors during the winter.
Although it may be hard to stay motivated to exercise outside during the winter, everyone knows how good it feels after a great workout. You're encouraged to continue to exercise and stay fit using your favorite workout routines throughout the year. If you have specific questions or find you need additional support, consider speaking to a certified sports medicine specialist.
Also, as you navigate your new environment and decide how best to exercise during the winter, be sure to continue following safe behaviors related to COVID-19. Be aware of your surroundings, and wear a mask, practice social distancing and follow hand hygiene measures. COVID-19 is still a risk, especially if you are outdoors in a crowd or working out inside a gym. Lastly, if you have any other health issues, it is advisable to talk with your primary health care provider before returning to vigorous activity — Dr. Kelechi Okoroha, Orthopedic Surgery, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota
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