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Staying Active During The Winter Months

by Melanie Marin

Many of us would love for it to be summer so we can enjoy warm weather year-round, but sadly the cold weather is upon us. If you have vein disease, this cold weather can be good news for your condition. During the fall and winter months, veins can shrink thanks to lower temperatures. As a result, valves in the veins have an easier time functioning correctly and lower the amount of pressure around your calves and ankles. This reduction in pressure means less cramps and swelling in your legs. Unfortunately, there are some downsides that come with the chilly temperatures as well.

Despite there being plenty of indoor exercise options, people often use the cold as an excuse for not being active. Just because you’re confined to the indoors does not mean that you can’t workout, it simply means that you may have to explore some new options. Join a gym or do some exercises in the comfort of your own home. If it’s not too cold out and you’re feeling up to it, bundle up and go for a brisk walk to get some fresh air.

Benefits of Exercising Outside In The Winter:

Boosts Creativity

Being stuck indoors all day can really mess with your ability to concentrate, so don’t be afraid to face the cold for a little bit to get some fresh air and clear your head. It’s easy to get caught up in the same old routine everyday, but a quick workout might be just what you need to get through the rut you’ve been stuck in.

Maintain Vitamin D Levels

Unless you live somewhere warm, you probably aren’t getting much sun in the winter. Moving your workout from the gym to the outdoors is the perfect way to give your body the vitamin D it’s craving, just don’t forget to apply sunscreen! Even though it isn’t hot outside doesn’t mean you shouldn’t keep your skin safe from the sun’s rays.

Better Mood

It doesn’t come as a surprise that the days are shorter in the winter, meaning our time with the sun is cut short. This, along with the lower temperatures, can bring about seasonal affective disorder, also known as SAD. SAD is a type of depression that comes with the arrival of the fall and/or winter season, and it causes your body to produce higher than usual levels of melatonin. Melatonin is a hormone that signals to your body that it is time to sleep, so it has you feeling tired and not wanting to do anything. Furthermore, going outside for a walk and exposing yourself to some sunlight can improve your mood greatly as light hinders the release of melatonin.

Staying Warm

Choosing to exercise outside in the winter is an accomplishment in itself. But when you do face the cold, it is essential for you to stay safe from the low temperatures and wind, so bundle up. Layers are your best friend in the winter, but the way in which you layer can make all the difference.

On the bottom, wear some sort of synthetic material like nylon or polyester so that your sweat isn’t stuck on you and taking heat away from your body. For your middle layer, wear fleece or wool to keep heat in. That leaves your outer layer being a breathable fabric that is also waterproof in case it happens to rain or snow. Don’t be afraid to add one more layer if you get cold easily, just avoid cotton.

Exercising outside has its upsides, just be sure you are careful to stay warm and not put too much pressure on yourself. If you feel like your fingers or toes are going numb or you are dizzy and lightheaded then go inside right away. As long as you stay safe, you can reap the benefits of outdoor exercise all year, even in the cold winter.

If you or someone you know would like more information about skin care, please feel free to schedule a consultation or contact one of our representatives today!

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