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Texas Orthopedics, Sports & Rehabilitation Associates

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

3 Winter Weather Exercise Tips

When the temperature drops, it's tempting to head outside for a great run or workout. Chilly weather is so inviting to Central Texans as we welcome a much-needed break from the heat. But it's important this time of year to remember to bundle up and stay protected from the elements while you are outdoors. Cold weather sports injuries are very common but can be avoided.

Here are things to watch for along with some helpful tips as you head out the door:

Brain freeze - literally
If your body temperature drops and you begin to shiver, your decision-making and coordination abilities suffer. Dressing appropriately for outside is key to maintaining proper body heat. Several warm, but breathable and lightweight, layers are the best option. Pay close attention to your head and feet to ensure they are fully covered.

Sprains & Strains
Cold weather can cause constricted blood vessels which do a poor job of pumping blood to your muscles and tendons. Decreased blood flow leads to inflexibility and potential sprains, strains, and other musculoskeletal injuries.

Scott Smith, MD orthopedic surgeon for Texas Orthopedics, suggests increasing the amount of time you warm up before a strenuous outdoor activity, and engaging in dynamic moves, like side-shuffles and slow jogging, until you've broken a light sweat.

Cold and flu susceptibility
The cold and flu virus spread more easily in dry, cold air. Being outside in extreme conditions can compromise your immune system leaving you vulnerable to illness. Stay healthy and prevent the spread of these germs by washing/sanitizing hands frequently, limiting contact with sick people, and getting a flu shot.

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