Tips for Exercise During This COVID-19 Winter
We asked Summit sports medicine specialist Amy Beacom, M.D., how to incorporate exercise this winter, even with COVID-19-related restrictions.
January brings with it a renewed focus on health for many, as people use the turning of the calendar page to turn over a new leaf as well. Exercise is a perennial favorite among the most popular New Year’s resolutions. But this year, with COVID-19 still surging and short, cold winter days, how can you exercise safely this winter? Dr. Beacom encourages people not to neglect winter exercise, even if schedules and activities are disrupted.
“In some ways, winter exercise this year is harder because of COVID-19. In other ways, it’s simpler — going to the gym isn’t an option,” Dr. Beacom said.
Idea 1: the home gym
If you’re used to going to the gym to stay fit and healthy, there are simple ways you can get a thorough workout at home. “Although you don’t have access to the standard gym equipment, body weight exercises can be a great way to get, or stay, in shape,” Dr. Beacom said.
YouTube has a wealth of free video resources to help people learn how to do things like squats, pushups, and lunges safely. Another option is to get some inexpensive equipment to supplement your workout. Things like exercise bands are simple, easy to order online, and relatively inexpensive. They can be helpful in doing resistance training to strengthen and tone muscles. And once again, there is no shortage of ideas on the internet about how to use bands.
Idea 2: get outside for winter exercise
One of the wonderful things about Minnesota is that winter is prime time for favorite outdoor sports. While some sports leagues and venues may be closed right now, there are many good, simple ideas to get exercise outside.
“Getting outside as much as you can is great,” Dr. Beacom said. “If we get snow, it opens up a range of low-impact exercise options for almost anyone.”
Dr. Beacom recommends cross-country skiing. It’s simple to learn, and there are top-notch trails available throughout the state. Another idea is snowshoeing. “It’s as simple as walking, and it can be a great workout,” she said. Snowshoes are available at outdoor stores as well as secondhand.
Idea 3: get creative
“Go sledding with your kids, but when you walk back up the hill, tow them in the sled behind you,” Dr. Beacom said. Changing up your typical exercise methods is a wonderful way to take advantage of this winter.
Dr. Beacom’s final tip? Consult local parks in your area. “Lots of parks cater to outdoor activities in the winter,” she said.
Summit Orthopedics offers comprehensive sports medicine expertise
From Olympians to pro athletes to kids in youth sports and those that just want to be more active—Summit Orthopedics delivers expert care by fellowship-trained sports medicine physicians. If you are recently injured or concerned about ongoing pain, Summit Orthopedics sports medicine specialists have the expertise to evaluate your discomfort and develop a plan to quickly and safely help you get back to being active.
Summit has convenient locations across the Minneapolis-St. Paul metro area, serving Minnesota and western Wisconsin. We have state-of-the-art centers for comprehensive orthopedic care in Eagan, MN, Plymouth, MN, Vadnais Heights, MN, and Woodbury, MN, as well as several additional community clinics.
More resources for you
Early this winter, Dr. Edward T. Su talked with Minnesota Parent about safety guidelines that can help keep children safe while they are enjoying outdoor activities during winter months.
Cold temperatures can aggravate arthritic joints and tempt you to ride out winter in sedentary hibernation. Don’t do it! We explain why it is important to stay active, with tips to keep you moving no matter how frosty the weather gets.
Our sledding safety tips will keep your child safe on snowy hills.