Did you know that Tacony Creek Park is part of the Circuit, the 750-mile network of bicycle and walking trails connecting people to jobs, neighborhoods, and parks in the Greater Philadelphia region? Our partners at The Circuit folks have shared these Winter Exercise Tips with us…to share with you, our TCP neighbors.
Guest blog post by Rachael Specter from Connect The Circuit
December marks the start of winter, but that should not put a stop to your outdoor workout regimen! In fact, according to Women’s Health, your endorphin production is boosted even more in the winter because your body has to work harder in the cold. Below find 10 quick tips for braving the outdoors #onthecircuit this winter:
- Motivate yourself with a buddy!
It’s easy to wimp out on a cold and even dark day. But, you’re much more likely to head outdoors when you schedule a date to run, cycle or walk with friends or family. Call a friend and make it a social occasion!
- Stretch and warm up
To avoid pulling or straining a muscle, which is more likely in cold temperatures, get your blood moving with a dynamic warm up and stretches before you start.
When you look at your weather app and it says 30 degrees, your first instinct may be to throw on a heavy coat. Instead, wear several light layers, ideally synthetic materials which dry quickly, so that you can expel your heat! Make sure to change into dry clothes immediately after a workout to avoid a chill.
- Safety first
Safety should be your first priority when you’re planning your winter route, and with limited daylight hours during the winter months, it is especially important. Plan your route in advance and carry a cell phone to have in case of emergency. Also, wear reflective gear, carry a flashlight, or if you are cycling, make sure your reflectors are on. You don’t want to have a collision with a fellow trail user #onthecircuit!
- Start your workout into the wind
We all hate those windy days, but what’s a great workout without a little challenge? Start your workout #onthecircuit into the wind and finish with the wind against your back for a nice cooldown.
If you’re thirsty, it’s your body’s way of telling you to drink water! Make sure you are drinking enough water not only after your run, but also before and during. It may be cold, but you are still sweating, so replenishing your body’s liquids is critical.
- Cover your extremities
On cold days, blood flow becomes concentrated in your body’s core. Your head, hands, feet and ears are more vulnerable to wind chill and frostbite. Be sure to cover these areas with hats, gloves and thermal socks!
- Wear sunscreen
Despite common misconception, you can just as easily get a sunburn in the winter as the summer. Be sure to apply sunscreen before you head outside.
- On very cold days, keep your workouts short
Carefully monitor the weather forecast to ensure you’re going #onthecircuit in safe conditions. On very cold days, trust your body and consider shortening your workout.
- Watch your step
Make sure you’re wearing proper footwear and watch out for slippery leaves and ice patches!