Staying active in winter can have multiple benefits for your mental and physical health: Improve your mood and keep away the winter blues, stay limber during weather conditions that can otherwise cause your joints to stiffen, and boost your immune system during flu season. Avoid the urge to hibernate and let your physical fitness go during the colder months and try a winter sport or indoor workout that offers you low-impact exercise.
Cycling is a low-impact option that gives your whole body a workout, and can be done on just about any terrain, depending on the type of bike you ride. Try park trails, mountain-biking, road cycling or even a stationary bike. Look for a local cycling club or a spin class at a gym to make your ride more social!
If you have access to an indoor pool in the cold, winter months, swimming is an aerobic conditioning exercise that’s easy on the back and especially good for the spine. Unlike running, swimming causes very little impact on your spine structures. The water supports your body, and the buoyancy relieves stress on all joints of the body. When the body is submerged to the chest, 80% of the body’s weight is reduced from the equation. With less gravity affecting joints, swimming and other types of water exercise help the spine and limbs expand, which relieves painful pressure. The Augusta Aquatics Center offers indoor swimming hours to the public in the CSRA.
It may seem simple, but walking works the muscles of the lower body and is lower impact on your joints. It improves cardiovascular fitness and can be done in nearly any weather by dressing appropriately. Check out the North Augusta Greeneway, the Augusta Canal path, or the Euchee Creek Greenway for scenic walking routes in our area.
Ice skating is a calorie-burning, leg-toning and core-strengthening activity that’s actually fun and low-impact. Aid joint health and improve endurance by increasing the length of your ice skating workouts each time you get out in the rink. Visit Evans on Ice for our area’s own temporary ice skating opportunity!
Yoga and Pilates
If you are spending more time inside and sitting during the cold winter months, you may notice tight hip flexor muscles or hamstrings. Counteract that immobility with pilates and yoga, which promote strength, mobility, and flexibility. These gentle movements that involve stretching and lengthening of muscles can be a great cross-training option if you do other winter sports. Additionally, both are indoor-friendly activities for staying active in winter on days the weather is too inclement to head outdoors.
FX Spine CES Certified Personal Trainer
Are you a patient of FX Spine & Performance Center? By determining the “root cause” of why your joints hurt, our CES certified Personal Trainer will develop individualized programs to meet your specific needs. At FX, we implement proper movements of exercise to reduce pain and stress, strengthen muscles, increase joint stability and improve posture. Workout under the guidance of a personal trainer in our FX Room and have access to a library of FX exercise videos to use at your own home.