Winter Workout Tips - Breakaway Physical Therapy
Shaina Clemons Health Tips

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Winter Workout Tips

Winter Workout
  • Are you a runner or walker who does not let the cold weather stop you?
  • Are you still heading out on your bike or taking your kids around the neighborhood on their scooters during the winter months?
  • Do you love to get some fresh air and be outside no matter what the temperatures are?

With the cold weather upon us, it is more important than ever to make sure that you are warmed up for your workouts.

Now its always important to make sure that your body is warmed up before starting any kind of workout and no matter where you are going to do your exercise.

BUT it’s even more important to make sure that your body is warmed up before you head out into the cold temperatures that will cool your body down even more.

WHY is it important to be warmed up before you start your workout (whether its outside or inside)?

When we are at rest, our muscles are the coldest. This means that they are at their shortest length and not able to stretch as easily compared to when they are warm.

When our muscles are at the shortest length and cold, they are going to be most likely to tear if we push them too much.

This is why its essential to do a quick 5-minute warm-up before you start your exercising to make sure that your body AND muscles are ready to be worked out!!

It is also important for our heart rate and breathing rate to slowly increase so that our body is ready for a more intense workout. Warm-ups can also help to lubricate our joints, which will help our bodies have more range of motion, along with more stretch in our ligaments and tendons.

What are the best warm-ups?! Here are some ideas for you to try and see what works best for your body…

  • Jumping Jacks x10
  • Squats x10
  • Marching in place x10
  • Lunges x10
  • Arm circles x10
  • Shoulder circles x10
  • Stretching your neck from side-to-side x5

If none of these work, then send us an email at so that we can personally help you out for an individualized warm-up program.

What are some other tips for the winter weather and making sure that you still get your workouts in??

  • Workout with a friend to help hold yourself accountable and be able to catch up while you get some exercise in!
  • Get outside on your lunch break, even if it is a quick walk outside
  • Prep your outfits the night before so that you set your intentions to make sure that your workouts happen
  • Invest in some warm winter gear to keep your body at the right temperature while you exercise
    • Dress in layers so that you can take off something as your body warms up
    • Your body will still sweat while you are working out, even in the cold temps
  • Wear bright colors for your clothing OR a reflective vest over your outfit
    • Consider a head light that flashes or a flashing vest so that you are seen easier
    • The days are shorter in the winter and it gets dark quickly
    • Make sure that you can be seen by cars, bike riders and other people outside (even in the dark)
  • Make sure to wear your sunscreen, even in the Winter
    • You can still get sunburned in the winter and make sure your body that is exposed to the sun is protected
  • Make sure to hydrate before your workout and bring water with you!
    • No matter what time of year, where you exercise or for how long…the body always needs water to make sure that it is hydrated and working at its BEST
  • Make sure you have a great pair of gloves and hat to keep your body warm
    • Make sure that your head, hands, feet, and ears are covered in the cold temperatures
    • When its cold outside, our body diverts all the blood flow to the core or center of our body leaving our hands, feet and head the most vulnerable to frigid temperatures

When you are done your workout and head back indoors, make sure that you hydrate with more water.

Also make sure that you stretch or cool-down after your workout. This is when your muscles are the loosest and have the most circulation and blood flow to the tissues. So this is also the time when you can get great stretching for your body since it is so warm.

Match your stretches to the workout that you are doing. Meaning if you just did a walk or run workout, when you are done stretch your calves, hamstrings and quad muscles.

If you did an upper body workout, make sure that you stretch your arms afterwards.

Its equally important to cool down as it is to warm up in the colder temperatures. Don’t discount that your body will cool down just walking around your house when you get back inside. Make sure to take the time to properly cool down with about 2 minutes of stretching.

This will allow your body to completely maximize your workout, from start to finish.

When you are done your workout and commonly when you are stretching, your body will start to feel good from completing your exercise routine. This is your body releasing endorphins that makes you feel this way. Endorphins are our body’s natural pain killers and what people commonly associate with “runners high”. This is what makes your body feel good and what helps to encourage you to come back and exercise again the next day.

So, the most important things to remember about exercising in the winter and outside…

  • Do a proper warm-up
  • Dress for the temperatures
  • Hydrate your body with water, no matter what the workout is
  • Wear bright, visible colors
  • Do a proper cool-down

And last but certainly not least, enjoy the amazing feel and accomplishment that you completed a workout. Pat yourself on the back that you did something great for your body and got some fresh air!

If you are looking for a guided exercise program to YOU, give us a call at 410-721-6333 to set up a FREE Breakthrough visit so that we can help you enjoy your workouts, rain or shine, cold weather included!

Shaina Clemons

Shaina Clemons

Shaina is the founder and owner of Breakaway Physical Therapy.  She received her Doctorate of Physical Therapy from the University of Maryland Baltimore, along with a Bachelor's degree from Towson University.   Shaina is an Ironman triathlete, with a love of all sports. Exercise is her passion, which plays an important role in both her personal and professional life.  In her free time, Shaina enjoys spending time with her husband and three young children.  Shaina's love of snowboarding led her to her career choice many years ago. 
Shaina Clemons

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