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Tips for Outdoor Winter Exercise

By Sara Butler

It’s almost winter, but you’re not going to let that stop you from getting outside for exercise, right? Don’t let winter weather put a damper on your outdoor exercise schedule. Following a few safety tips to help keep you on schedule when you’re outdoors this winter!

Safety First

The cold weather itself doesn’t make exercise outside unsuitable because most people can exercise safely no matter the temperature outside. But if you have certain health conditions, then you may want to take it inside for the winter months. People with some conditions such as heart problems and asthma should clear an outdoor exercise regimen with their doctor first.

Look at the Weather Report

You should make sure to check weather conditions and wind chill before you head outside. Wind, moisture, and temperature are factors that can impact the safety of your exercise exploits. If the temperature is below 0 degrees Fahrenheit, then you may want to move your workout indoors. And if it’s raining or snowing then you will need waterproof gear to head outside.

The Signs of Trouble

When working out in the winter, it’s very important to know what dangers may be lurking outside. Hypothermia and frostbite are the two most serious issues facing your winter workout.

Frostbite occurs when the body, usually limbs, is exposed to the cold. So be on the lookout for stinging, loss of feeling, or numbness in your hands, feet, cheeks, nose, and ears. If you experience these things, then get out of the cold and warm up as soon as you can. Never rub the skin to warm it up because that can cause damage to the skin. If the numbness doesn’t go away, then get help.

Hypothermia arises when your body temperature drops too low. Your body drops heat when exposed to cold temperatures, which can be made worse by wet conditions. The signs of hypothermia include slurred speech, forceful shivering, fatigue, and issues with coordination. Emergency help is needed right away if you suspect that you’re suffering from it.

Layer Up

When heading outside to exercise in the cold, make sure to wear the appropriate clothing – but don’t go overboard. Believe it or not, dressing too warmly is a big problem when exercising in the cold since your body generates heat as you work out. The best thing to do in the cold is dress in layers you can remove as your body heats up. When you start to sweat, you may want to remove a layer or two, then put it back on as you need. Avoid cotton because it stays wet next to your skin. Sweat-wicking exercise clothes will be your best bet.

Don't let the weather keep you from getting outside, just be smart and take the right precautions!

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Sterling, Va.

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