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Future Health

Exercising in Cold Weather

November 15, 2019 

Exercise is beneficial no matter what season it is. If you choose to exercise outdoors in the wintertime, you could be putting yourself at risk for hypothermia, frostbite, and wind burn. Here are some precautions you can take to stay safe while exercising in the winter.

  1. Check the weather forecast. If the temperature is projected to be below freezing, you could be putting yourself at severe risk for health complications. The wind chill is another factor that should be considered. If it’s too cold or windy, work out indoors.
  2. Be aware! Sidewalks and roads can be icy and/or snowy. If you are exercising outside, be sure to stay alert to avoid injury.
  3. Warm up your muscles. Staying warm is important when working out outdoors in the winter! Try walking for a bit or doing some light strength training before braving the cold.
  4. Refrain from wearing tight clothing. Wearing tight clothes can restrict blood flow. As a result, you could lose body heat.
  5. Wear a waterproof coat and/or hat. Stay warm! Protect your head and vital organs from the cold. Scarves and gloves are also a plus!
  6. Know the signs of hypothermia. Even if you’re super careful, you could still be at risk for cold related illnesses. Some warning signs of hypothermia are:
  • Cold feet and hands
  • Puffy/swollen face
  • Pale skin
  • Slow or slurred speech
  • Feeling sleepy
  • Being angry or confused

Some signs of later hypothermia are:

  • Moving slowly, acting clumsy
  • Stiff and jerky limb movements
  • Slow heartbeat
  • Shallow breathing
  • Loss of consciousness

If you or someone you are with are experiencing any of these symptoms, seek medical help as soon as possible!

Working out during the winter doesn’t have to be scary. Have fun and stay safe!