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Doctors clarify need for physical activity in cold weather

Doctors clarify need for physical activity in cold weather How to keep active in winter (photo: Freepik)
Author: Liliana Oleniak

There is a myth that you can reduce the amount of physical activity in winter because the body is supposedly in "hibernation". However, this is not true. Sports are good for you at any time of the year.

Sources used: WHO website, the Ukrainian Ministry of Health's.

How many times a week we should exercise

The WHO recommends that people aged 18 to 64 without chronic diseases engage in moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity for at least 150-300 minutes per week.

At the same time, you should do strength exercises to strengthen your muscles at least twice 2 times a week.

The general recommendation is to limit the amount of time spent sitting. Replacing sedentary time with physical activity has health benefits.

Should we reduce physical activity in winter?

Of course, in winter, the choice of outdoor sports is not as wide as in the warm season. However, this is not a reason to reduce the number of sports activities.

In addition, in winter, snowball fights, snowman modeling, sledding, skating, skiing, and snowboarding are added to the usual sports activities. Such physical activity is quite intense and beneficial.

Research also proves that winter sports have a positive impact on a person's psychological health.

How to make winter sports safe

A significant difference from summer sports in winter is the low temperature. Therefore, you should avoid hypothermia. To do this, choose your clothes carefully.

The first layer should be thin clothing made of synthetic fabrics that wick sweat away from the body. The second should be fleece or wool to keep you warm. The third, top layer should be lightweight, breathable, and at the same time keep out water and wind.

Be sure to warm up before training for 15-20 minutes. It should consist of stretching, cardio exercises, and exercises for the muscles that will be worked during the workout.

Two to four hours before training, you should eat a hearty meal rich in carbohydrates and protein. After the first hour, you should eat snacks every 30-60 minutes: a banana, dried fruit, an energy bar made of nuts, cereals, dried fruit, etc.

Also, make sure you have adequate fluid intake. It is better to use warm liquids for rehydration: tea, water with lemon, and broth.