Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Keep Warm While Working Out in the Cold



It’s winter in the Midwest, so that means fair weather one day and then cold fronts the next. Don’t get caught in the frigid temps without knowing how to workout safely in the cold. In fact, outdoor lovers just need to follow a few simple tips.

  • Cover Up: When we are cold, our body focuses most of its heating effort to the core to protect our heart and other organs. Therefore, make sure to cover up your extremities (arms and legs, hands and feet as well as your head/ears).
  • Choose layers: Our bodies generate a great deal of heat when we exercise…enough to make it feel as much as 30 degrees warmer that the actual temperature, so dress in layers when exercising outside; you can always take off clothing as you start to heat up and put layers back on if needed. Wear fabric that is a synthetic moister wicking material as your first layer then proceed with cotton or fleece layers as well as a waterproof layer if it is snowing or raining. For those with asthma or working out in temperatures below freezing (sub 32 degrees), cover your mouth with a scarf or mask.
  • Keep hydrated: Even if you don’t feel thirsty or sweaty, you need to drink lots of water. The recommended amounts are the same for cold weather as they are for hot weather: 8 oz of water before the workout, 4 oz every 15 minutes of activity and 8 oz post workout. You can still get dehydrated in the cold so drink up.
  • Check the weather: Before you venture out on your walk, run, hike, etc. make sure that the conditions in your area are safe. Snowstorms, icy conditions, hail and driving rain are not appropriate weather in which to exercise. 

Too dangerous to workout in the great outdoors or can’t get to the gym because of the road conditions? No problem, click here for the Snowed-In Workout for a total body indoor workout that combines both strength and cardiovascular training.

BE ALERT: Can you recognize hypothermia?

Hypothermia occurs when the core body temperature falls below 95 degrees. This is a serious condition which can cause irregular heart beat and even death if not treated immediately. If you’re working out outdoors in the cold, watch for these signs of hypothermia.

  • Excessive shivering
  • Drowsiness
  • Confusion
  • Slurred speech
  • Exhaustion

Get medical help immediately if you feel these indicators or think you or someone you know might be suffering from hypothermia.

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