Ok, so when it’s colder in Illinois than at the base of Mt. Everest, we know the cold weather has reached ridiculous new lows. Negative 50 degrees? Hot water that freezes mid-air when you throw it from a cup?
Yes, it's winter, and yes, we're in Chicagoland, but I can't remember the last time we had THIS many days of prolonged cold temperatures—maybe that’s because we’re approaching the coldest temperatures ever reported. EVER. This freeze is no joke—that’s why we’ve closed the office, to protect you and our team members. And while we’re using this day off to catch up on blogging, we also wanted to review some exercise safety features for the future when (or if) this cold ever lets up.
When we get back up to near-normal cold (I’m talking 30 degree territory), you may be tempted to get back to those outdoor runs. While that’s technically ok, the first suggestion I have is to stay in the middle of the roads—that will be your best bet of not hitting a slippery ice patch. You know how those black ice patches love to hang out in dips on the road.
Exercise Caution When Exercising in Cold Weather
Whatever you choose to do outside, be careful! Even without a full-out fall, there is a heightened risk of injury from just walking over slippery uneven mounds of snow and ice. Your ankles have to work even harder to keep your body upright, and while winter boots are warm, most do not provide good support for feet and ankles. This can lead to achy muscles and tendinitis. As unappealing as it sounds these days, if you do experience pain in your ankles or feet or achiness after being out all day, icing the ankles for 15 minutes will help to alleviate some of the inflammation. Immediate attention to an acute injury can also help keep you from developing a chronic condition, which would leave you facing a much longer recovery period.
Staying Active Inside
Of course, for the next few days at least, there’s no chance that you’ll be getting outdoors to exercise. So, if you’re getting cabin fever, maybe it’s time to mix things up! Yoga is a great way to let out some tension without leaving the house: you can find some videos on YouTube, or even google some new poses to try out from the comfort of your (hopefully cozy) living room. Yoga keeps your muscles loose for when winter does finally break (it will happen, it will happen, it will happen...) and will keep you in good shape so you can get back out when its safe to return to your regular running routine.
And, until this arctic blast lifts: stay warm, stay safe and call our office for any foot or ankle issues. One upside to this mandated down time from regularly scheduled activities is this: you can check in with your body and notice what isn’t feeling quite right when you walk or climb those stairs over and over just to keep from going crazy. If you address discomfort now, you’ll be ready to hit the ground running when the weather is finally safe for humans once again!