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Staying Active in Winter

Tips & tricks

Lost Creek Falls Frozen

The magical white and crisp feeling of a Northland winter.

It’s quite literally breathtaking. Keeping an exercise routine year-round is important for a myriad of reasons–but if you find the season less-than-ideal, the motivation to stay active can be difficult.


Don’t lose sight… power through to stay in shape, flexible, and a healthy weight. Mobilization is key to maintaining muscles in your body. Even simple activities such as shoveling heavy snow can lead to a strained back, or even a heart attack. But a half-hour of exercise now will help you avoid painful winter injuries in the long run.

1. Stay Hydrated

Winter weather can be dehydrating. Drink plenty of water during and after your workout.

2. Dress Appropriately

You’ll want your body to properly regulate temps, so wearing layers is important. Choose several thin layers that you can easily remove and pack with you while working out.

Stay warm with synthetic, fleece, or wool clothing next to your skin. After that, add your several thin layers as-needed. Avoid cotton clothing. While cotton is cool and comfortable in the summer, it won’t properly evaporate your sweat in the winter. Top with a windproof layer, and add a hat and gloves as needed.

3. Channel Your Inner-Sloth

Slow and steady wins the race! Going too fast is not recommended—especially if you’re prone to injury. Safety should be your number one concern while staying active during the winter months. Find a safe and steady pace and stick to it.

4. Stretch and Warm Up

Prevent injury and prepare your muscles, joints, and heart for activity with a proper warm up. Depending on your current health, this can be anything from stretching to a slow jog. In the winter, it’s best to warm up until you’re a little sweaty to make sure your heart is ready for exertion.

Above all, your goal is to stay healthy and fit with safety as the priority. If you need winter workout ideas or individual inspiration to improve your quality of life, your physical therapist is a great resource to help you out.

Please ask your physician for a referral. For more information on physical therapy in Ashland, call 715-685-5482.

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