Household Items Cause Heart Disease
Searching for products?

Tips for Safely Walking Outdoors All Winter Long

Ah, winter. The time when millions of people around the world experience the joys of frigid temperatures and white-out snow days. When you’re cuddled around the fire with a warm cup of coffee and snow falling gently outside, going on a walk is probably the last thing on your mind.

The truth is, taking a daily walk is one of the best things you can do to stave off those winter pounds and keep your physical health in tip-top shape — even when it’s freezing. Here are a few additional benefits of winter walking (on top of the regular benefits) and a few tips to stay safe and warm on your frosty stroll. 

With the proper layers and preparation, you’ll start to look forward to your winter walk in no time!

Benefits of winter walking

Improves muscle health

Winter ground certainly challenges those balance and stability muscles. Uneven terrain activates little-used muscles in your legs and core that will help you perform better during other workouts and everyday activities such as lifting and squatting. 

Burns more calories

Have you ever felt exhausted after walking just a few hundred feet in the snow and wind? A study in the American Journal of Human Biology found that people burn 34% more calories when hiking in cold weather than in warm. Maximize the weight-loss benefits of your daily walk by heading outdoors even in chilly weather. 

Boosts vitamin D

In all but the warmest, sunniest places in the world, vitamin D levels fall for most people in the wintertime. Less time with skin exposed to the sun and weaker UVB rays all increase the risk of vitamin D deficiency. 

Getting outdoors and going for a walk, even on days when the winter sun is only weakly shining, can still be beneficial and could boost your vitamin D levels, depending on where you live. 

Improves mood

There’s just something so refreshing about a brisk winter stroll. Fresh, cold air, sunshine, and good company work together to improve your mood, clear your mind, and reduce stress. There is even evidence to suggest that winter walks can decrease the depressive symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) by 50 percent.

Winter Walking Tips

Dress for the weather

If you live in a cold climate, your winter walking gear will look different from your summer workout clothes. Depending on the weather, consider layering and wearing a water and wind-resistant winter jacket to keep out the damp, chilly air. 

You can remove layers if you get hot while walking. Stay away from cotton clothing. It absorbs sweat and makes you wet and cold, increasing your risk of hypothermia. Most cotton is made from GMO cotton and poses a toxic risk to your body.

Warm-up

While warming up with a cup of tea and a nice hot bath after a winter walk is ideal, it’s even more important to warm up before you head out. Before putting on all your layers, do a few jumping jacks, squats, or run or march to get your heart rate up. Spending a few minutes warming up is well worth the extra effort. 

It increases your core body temperature, gets your blood pumping, and helps warm up muscles — reducing the risk of injury. It also improves coordination and keeps you on your feet in slippery conditions. 

Wear the right shoes and socks

Your average workout or walking shoes probably aren’t the best for winter weather. If there’s snow and ice on your path, you’ll want to wear shoes with extra traction and padding designed to withstand colder temperatures and uneven terrain. 

If there’s no snow, but the weather is just a little bit chilly, you might be able to make it in standard tennis shoes. Either way, wear organic wool socks to keep your feet warm and dry. 

Choose the right time of day

Though early-morning or evening walks are a great option in the heat of the summer, these are not the best hours for your winter walk. Avoid walking in the dark, if possible, as many hazards, like ice, are hard to see at night. Try walking in the afternoon whenever possible. This is the warmest part of the day and is usually the best time to get vitamin D. 

Try going for a brisk walk on your lunch break if you go to work and get home in the dark. 

Bring a friend

While finding a walking friend is always a good idea, as the companionship improves mental health and well-being, there are even more practical benefits to walking with a buddy in the wintertime. 

Depending on where you live, your walking paths may become treacherous in the winter months. This is especially true with remote areas like large parks, wooded walking trails, or hikes. If you’re going off the beaten path, or if the beaten path is just a little dicey, bring a friend along. 

You can also provide mutual motivation and help keep each other on a good winter walking schedule.

Get into a good routine

Getting into a walking routine in the warmer months is easy. The weather is nice, it’s sunny, and the daylight hours are longer. Unfortunately, this isn’t usually the case in the winter. 

The best way to unlock that winter walking motivation is to get out and do it daily. Unless the weather is unsafe to walk in, bundle up, get outside, and just walk. Soon, you’ll look forward to your daily outdoor activity and won’t want to miss a day. 

Hydrate

Dehydration isn’t just a threat in the hot months of summer. A study from the University of New Hampshire found that your chance of dehydration increases during the winter. You don’t get as hot, and your sweat evaporates quickly in the cold air. Plus, many people don’t like drinking cold water when the air is chilly and reach for a warm, usually dehydrating, beverage instead.

While there’s nothing wrong with a cup of hot coffee, it can dehydrate you, especially if you haven’t had enough water. Make sure to drink plenty of clean, filtered water before heading out on your winter walk — even if you don’t feel thirsty. 

Know when to stay inside

We are all about fresh air and sunshine here at NHD. However, some days, it isn’t safe to go outside. For the most part, it’s just a matter of dressing appropriately. But some temperatures increase your chances of frostbite and other cold-related complications. 

Experts recommend avoiding walking outdoors when the temperature is below -10 degrees Fahrenheit. When this happens, do an indoor workout or walk at an indoor shopping mall or track. 

Plan your route 

It’s easy for simple tasks to go south in wintry weather. Landmarks are covered in snow, the trees are bare, and you can get turned around in seconds if you lose your path. Don’t wander too far from populated areas without a companion or emergency equipment; always prepare your route in advance.

While winter hiking can be fun and has many health benefits, getting caught unprepared could mean hypothermia or frostbite. Stick to familiar, well-maintained trails in inclement weather. 

Consider walking poles

An inexpensive pair of trekking or walking poles can be a winter walking game changer. If you live somewhere the sidewalks are covered in snow or ice most of the winter, investing in a pair of poles can help keep you stable and allow you to safely enjoy the outdoors without fear of falling. 

This is especially important if you are recovering from an injury or struggle with balance issues.

Try snowshoeing

Take your winter walk to the next level with snowshoeing. Of course, the accessibility of snowshoe paths will vary depending on your location. However, if you live near areas that receive a lot of snow, check local state parks or trailheads to see if any snowshoe paths are available. 

Many ski resorts also have excellent snowshoeing opportunities. You don’t have to have experience; you can rent or buy snowshoes from many outfitters for a reasonable price. 

Next steps 

Walking outdoors isn’t just for those rare days with clear skies and perfect temperatures — it is one of the best things you can do to protect your heart and mind and should be part of your daily routine. Don’t wait for warmer temperatures to start developing good habits — go on a 30-minute walk today and every day.

If you need further health advice, don’t hesitate to contact one of our licensed practitioners to make an appointment. Any of them would love to work with you to help you achieve your 100 Year Heart.

Eat well, Live well, Think well

Medical Review: Dr. Lauren Lattanza NMD 2022

In order to live well, one must eat well.

Get the Natural Heart Doctor approved Diet and discover how to eat for your 100 Year Heart.

Work With Us

Discover how we can help you achieve your 100 Year Heart.

About Dr. Keith Smigiel NP, DC

Dr. Keith Smigiel

Dr. Keith Smigiel is a regenerative medicine physician and pain management specialist. He takes an integrative approach to medicine, focusing on customized solutions tailored to individual needs. Using advanced, non-surgical treatments, Dr. Smigiel stimulates your body’s ability to naturally heal itself.

Dr. Smigiel helps people suffering from conditions such as chronic pain and erectile dysfunction, to hair loss and weight gain. Combining treatments such as PRP Therapy, Ozone, Neural Prolotherapy, and IV Infusions with functional rehabilitation, he helps you look and feel better.

He heals the body, instead of just treating the symptoms!

With his professional qualifications as a certified family nurse practitioner, a doctor of chiropractic, and a fellow of the International Academy of Medical Acupuncture, Dr. Smigiel offers patients comprehensive care from a broad perspective of conventional and alternative medicine. He also has extensive experience in functional rehabilitation and chronic pain management.

Dr. Smigiel is married to Angela and has two children, Sophia and Larz. When he’s not busy helping patients, he enjoys hiking, mountain biking, motocross, and boating.

About Dr. James Kneller, M.D., Ph.D., FHRS

Dr. James Kneller, M.D., Ph.D., FHRS

Dr. James Kneller is one of the nation’s leading heart rhythm specialists. Dr. Kneller is certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) in Clinical Cardiac Electrophysiology, Cardiovascular Disease, and Internal Medicine.

As a Fellow of the Heart Rhythm Society (FHRS) and Certified Cardiac Device Specialist (CCDS), Kneller provides comprehensive patient care, combining best medical practice with invasive procedures using state-of-the-art technologies to treat heart rhythm disorders.

Beyond guideline-directed therapies, Kneller is passionate about optimized personal health. With a deep interest in complimentary alternative medicine (CAM), he strives to reduce the need for pharmaceuticals, invasive procedures, and exposure to harmful radiation. With Natural Heart Doctor, he strives to help each and every client to Live Well, Eat Well, and Think Well to attain their 100-year heart!

About Dr. Lauren Lattanza NMD, FACC

Dr. Lattanza Office Visit with Patient

As a Naturopathic Physician, I am trained to treat the whole person and get to the root cause of disease.

I went to Arizona State University where I graduated with a bachelor’s degree in psychology with a depth in physiology and minor in Spanish. After my undergraduate degree I was working on prerequisite classes towards medical school, which is when I came to learn that my values identified best with the principles of naturopathic medicine. I knew that I wanted to help patients identify the causes of disease and be able to offer treatments which would improve their health rather than simply treating symptoms.

I dedicated the next 4 years to the Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine in Tempe, Arizona where I attained my Doctorate of Naturopathic Medicine. I served as Class President all 4 years, Board of Trustees – Student Trustee, spoke as the Club President for our branch of Toastmasters, and was voted by my peers and attending physicians to earn the Outstanding Leadership Award for the Class of 2020. Throughout medical school I took it upon myself to work alongside MDs, DOs, chiropractors, and functional medicine practitioners in addition to naturopathic physicians.

As a Spanish speaking student, I was able to volunteer with community clinics around Phoenix and provide free healthcare to low-income families. Due to this combined exposure, I came to find my passion in treating cardiometabolic and digestive disorders that are all too common, yet largely preventable. I took the opportunity to learn the broad spectrum of healthcare so I can ensure that I am able to provide my patients with the best options.

About Dr. Jack Wolfson DO, FACC

Dr. Wolfson Office Visit with Patient

Dr. Jack Wolfson is a board-certified cardiologist, Amazon best-selling author, husband, father, and the nation’s #1 Natural Heart Doctor.

For more than two decades, more than one million people have enjoyed the warmth, compassion, and transformational power of his natural heart health courses and events.

Dr. Wolfson is the founder of Natural Heart Doctor Scottsdale, his heart health practice in Arizona, and Natural Heart Doctor, an online resource center with natural health information. Doctors from across the globe reach out to Dr. Wolfson for training and education in holistic health practices.

He has been named one of America’s Top Functional Medicine Doctors and is a five-time winner of the Natural Choice Awards as a holistic M.D. Dr. Wolfson’s work has been covered by more than 100 media outlets, including NBC, CNN, and the Washington Post. His book “The Paleo Cardiologist: The Natural Way to Heart Health” was an Amazon #1 best-seller.

Dr. Wolfson and his wife Heather have four children and are committed to making the world a better place to live. They provide for those in need (including animals) and support natural health causes through their philanthropic efforts.

Chiropractic

Our chiropractor is an expert at adjustments and holistic chiropractic care and works closely in conjunction with the other health care experts at Natural Heart Doctor.

Call (480) 535-6844 for details and scheduling.

IV Therapy

We use specially formulated natural vitamins and minerals that are injected into a vein to prevent or treat dehydration. Ideal for people in Arizona.

Call (480) 535-6844 for details and scheduling.

Acupuncture

Stimulate your body’s natural healing abilities and promote physical and emotional well-being with acupuncture at Natural Heart Doctor.

Call (480) 535-6844 for details and scheduling.

Health Coaching

Our health coaches use evidence based skillful conversation, clinical interventions, and strategies to engage you actively and safely in health behavior changes.

Call (480) 535-6844 for details and scheduling.

Cardio Tests

We use the most advanced testing in the world to assess heart health and to identify the root cause of your health issues.

Call (480) 535-6844 for details and scheduling.

Office Visits

Schedule an office visit with one of our cardiologists, holistic physicians, chiropractor, or health coaches.

Call (480) 535-6844 for details and scheduling.

Frequently Asked Questions

I’d like to receive an online second opinion from Natural Heart Doctor. What do I do next?

You can initiate a second opinion online through our website at any time. To begin, select the team member you’d like to speak with and open an account.

Click here for cardiologist Dr. Jack Wolfson.

Naturopathic Medical Doctor Dr. Lauren Lattanza. Get details.

Naturopathic Medical Doctor Dr. Tonia Rainier. Get details.

Click here for  Natural Heart Doctor Health Coach.

Alternatively, you can email health@naturalheartdoctor.com. A member of our care team will help guide you through the process of starting a second opinion.

What is the cost of a Natural Heart Doctor Online Second Opinion?

The cost for most second opinions varies by team member. This fee includes information collection, a phone or video consultation, a second opinion from a Natural Heart Doctor specialist and guidance throughout the process from your personal Care Team at Natural Heart Doctor.

Cardiologist Dr. Jack Wolfson’s Second Opinion Fee is $1500.

Holistic Physician’s Dr. Lauren Lattanza’s Second Opinion Fee is $250.

Naturopathic Physician Dr. Tonia Rainier’s Second Opinion Fee is $250.

Note: We apply the Online Second Opinion Call fee as a credit to any future consultations with Natural Heart Doctor, should you choose them.

Will my insurance cover the cost of a Natural Heart Doctor Online Second Opinion?

Most likely, no. Most health plans do not cover online second opinions or consultations. You are responsible for the cost of our second opinion. Natural Heart Doctor cannot file a claim with your insurance carrier, nor can we provide a procedure (CPT) code for this service.

What is the timeline to receive an online second opinion?

We do our best to schedule your second opinion as quickly as possible. Typically, it takes 5 to 7 business days after your information has been collected to receive your phone or video online second opinion.

What information do you need in advance of our call?

Our office will send you a short questionnaire to complete and return. We DO NOT need your complete medical records.

How many questions can I ask the expert during our call?

You may ask a maximum of five questions. This is to ensure that the expert has sufficient time to devote to each question. All questions must be finalized before your online meeting.

What should I expect to receive once my second opinion is complete?

You will receive a summary of our discussion along with our second opinion. The second opinion will be in written form. After you have reviewed the second opinion, a Natural Heart Doctor clinician will follow up with you by phone to address general medical questions about the information provided in the second opinion.

What if I have follow-up questions for the expert after I have reviewed my second opinion?

If you have a clarifying question about an expert’s response to one of the questions in your second opinion, and the Natural Heart Doctor clinician is unable to address it, then you may request a follow up session for an additional fee. 

Is my medical and payment information secure?

Natural Heart Doctor is strongly committed to protecting the privacy and security of all our patients. Our website meets all federal requirements for protecting personal health information under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). All financial transactions are processed by Natural Heart Doctor securely using industry standard payment processing tools.

I would rather visit Natural Heart Doctor for an in-person appointment. What should I do next?

If you would prefer an in-person appointment at Natural Heart Doctor instead of an online second opinion, please call (480) 535-6844 for details and scheduling.

Can I schedule a follow up appointment with the specialist who provided my online second opinion?

Yes, we’re happy to help you on an extended basis. Our clinician can discuss options with you when presenting our second opinion summary.