Grundy County Memorial Hospital | Live Well | Winter 2021

5 Michael Olson can be found staying active while he keeps local student athletes safe and at their best to compete in their favorite sports. Following his advice will help all of us stay active while we’re staying safe during the pandemic. Sources: American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; U.S. Department of Labor Michael Olson, MS, LAT, ATC Ways to stay active this winter When the chill of winter settles in, it can be easy to want to hunker down inside. Many indoor activities may not be held right now due to the COVID-19 pandemic, so staying active might require you to bundle up and get outside. Iowa winters can be enjoyable when you have the proper clothing and safety gear for the outdoor activity you’ve planned. Fresh air is good for your mental health, and staying physically active will help keep you in shape, even when the weather turns cold. Where I’m from in northern Minnesota, we didn’t let the cold temperatures stop us from getting outside and enjoying the fresh air! Here are some tips for those who want to stay active while staying cozy this winter: Bundle up. Be sure to dress in layers that are loose enough to allow your body heat to circulate. Consider a first layer that keeps you dry, a second that is made of wool or fleece, and a third that is waterproof and helps break the wind. Wear a hat that covers your head and ears and mit- tens that are insulated. Choose cold-weather boots with grooved soles made from rubber or other nonslip materials or shoes with ice grips added. Maintaining heat for your head, neck, hands and feet is especially important to help you stay comfortable. Go for walks and runs. Bundling up and getting out for a walk—whether it’s to the mailbox or down the street a few blocks–can help you get some fresh air and keep you physically fit. If you’re a runner, keep running! With the proper footwear and clothing, you can still run safely in the wintertime. Get creative. Have you always wanted to try snow shoeing? Have a hill nearby that the grandkids would love to sled down? Take the opportunity to try something new! Iowa winters may be cold, but the snow can create beautiful scenery to enjoy when you go out and explore. Beware of ice. If you head out for a walk or run, be sure to be aware of your steps. Avoid the ice if you can—and slow down if necessary. by Michael Olson, MS, LAT, ATC GCMH Athletic Trainer, GCMH Therapy Department