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Fit through the cold season: outdoor sports even in winter
When it is cold and wet in winter, many people tend to curl up at home. But if you do not want to lose your fitness, you should also overcome the inner bastard in winter to play sports outdoors. Regular exercise also helps you lose weight.
When it comes to health in winter, it is often claimed that cold sports can harm the body. But the opposite is the case. As long as the temperatures do not drop below minus ten degrees, there is usually nothing to be said against outdoor sports. However, some tips should be taken to heart.
Jogging even in freezing temperatures
Right now in the dark season, the body needs light, fresh air and exercise so that the immune system remains strong and the metabolism stays on the go. Therefore, the Barmer health insurance advises you to stay active even in winter - even when it is very cold.
“At temperatures of up to ten degrees minus there is nothing fundamental to object to jogging. In extreme cold, however, joggers should be careful. Because less trained people in particular often run too quickly and breathe very hard through their mouths, so that too much cold air can irritate the bronchi, ”explains Klaus Möhlendick, sports scientist at Barmer in a message.
Those who exhale through the nose and exhale through the mouth preheat the air and thus avoid a sore throat and hoarseness. To be on the safe side, you can also put on a face mask or a so-called jogging mask that covers the mouth and nose.
In addition, joggers should better reduce their workload outdoors in freezing temperatures and rather do a lighter running workout and strengthen their muscles in additional training sessions indoors, for example the core muscles.
Dress appropriately and warm up before training
When it comes to equipment, the sports scientist also recommends running shoes with a good profile, gloves and several thin layers of clothes on top of each other that conduct sweat from the inside out.
When going out, joggers should shiver rather than sweat, because this lowers the risk of a cold and strengthens the immune system. Under no circumstances should you go jogging without a headband or hat, because a large part of the body heat is released through the head.
“The right clothing is one thing when jogging in winter. Warming up is just as important. Anyone who makes a cold start and increases the speed at the same time risks hardening their muscles and pulling them, ”says Möhlendick.
Compared to summer, you should give your body a longer warm-up phase. The expert also advises to wear a reflective vest and headlamp in the dark to minimize the risk of accidents.
Exercise especially important for seniors
Exercise in the cold season is also explicitly recommended for older people. Seniors should “continue their summer activities and sports in winter as well. With the right clothing, there is nothing to be said against walking or short bike tours, ”Möhlendick explains in another press release.
With freezing temperatures, you could either divide the outdoor workload into smaller units or play sports in the swimming pool, on an exercise bike or in the gym. If fitness permits, it is best to do five units of 30 minutes a week with moderate intensity.
According to Möhlendick, regular exercise is so important because it slows down the age-related loss of physiological function and increases life expectancy in good health.
With sufficient exercise, the risk that winter weather will have a negative impact on the mind is also reduced. “Seniors should at least integrate small rituals of movement into everyday life. The daily walk to the supermarket, bakery or newsstand is a good basis. Otherwise, it will be harder for you to get going again in the spring, ”says the sports scientist.
When doing outdoor activities, seniors should not only pay attention to warm clothing, but also to safety. Shoes with a non-slip profile and special spikes for street shoes in snowy areas are recommended.
Möhlendick recommends those who are on the move with a walker should also make them winter-proof. For this purpose, special accessories such as reflectors or special umbrellas against precipitation are offered. (ad)
Author and source information
This text corresponds to the specifications of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.
- Barmer: jogging in winter - reduce the workload in extreme cold, (access: 26.12.2019), Barmer
- Barmer: Fit through the winter: Seniors should not neglect exercise, (accessed: December 26, 2019), Barmer