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By Wendy RN., BA

12/22/2013 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

How to stay safe and warm while exercising outdoors in cold weather.

Just about everyone can enjoy exercising and activities in the great outdoors; even in the dead of winter. Here are a few health and safety tips that you should be aware of to keep you warm.

Exercising in cold winter weather is great with some extra precautions. Dressing in layers, protecting your hands and feet, and paying attention to the forecast can help you stay safe and warm.

Exercising in cold winter weather is great with some extra precautions. Dressing in layers, protecting your hands and feet, and paying attention to the forecast can help you stay safe and warm.

Highlights

By Wendy RN., BA

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

12/22/2013 (1 year ago)

Published in Blog

Keywords: Cold, weather, winter, snow, temperature, frost bite, saftey, warm


LOS ANGELES, CA (Rise Above Health Blog) - Always dress in layers, one of the biggest mistakes people make is dressing too warmly for exercise in the winter. By dressing in layers, you actually can remain warmer, here is why.

Exercise generates a lot of heat, enough heat that you feel like it is warmer than it really is. If you dress too warmly you start to sweat then as the sweat will cause you to get chilled and you can risk hypothermia. By dressing in layers you can prevent this as you can remove or add back layers as needed.

The Mayo Clinic recommends that the first layer should be a thin layer of a synthetic material like polypropylene which draws sweat away from your body. Avoid cotton, which is very absorbent and will stay wet next to your skin. The next layer should be fleece or wool for insulation, and finally top off with a waterproof breathable outer layer. If you are very lean, you may require more insulation than a heavier person.

Avoid wearing a heavy down jacket or vest as these may cause you to overheat if you are exercising hard.

If it is very cold, it is a good practice to wear a face mask or scarf to help warm the air before it enters your lungs.

Experiment to find the right combination of laying that works for you based on the temperature and your exercise intensity. Activities that are stop and go such as mixing walking and running will make you heat up then cool down and chill. This will make you more susceptible to hypothermia.

You may need to experiment before you find a combination of clothing that works well for you based on your exercise intensity. Keep in mind, too, that stop-and-go activities, such as mixing walking with running, can make you more vulnerable to the cold if you repeatedly work up a sweat and then get chilly.

Tobogganing is a great family activity in the winter.


When the temperature drops outside, your body will increase its blood flow its core to protect your essential organs. This leaves your hands and feet more susceptible to frost bite. Its a good idea to layer on your hands and feet. Try a thin pair of gloves under your mitts or larger gloves. As for your feet, a pair of one half to one size larger exercise shoes will allow for thermal socks or extra regular socks.

Always cover your head to help reduce heat loss, and prevent frost bite of the ears.

Use common sense when the temperature is extremely low, take extra precautions or have an alternate plan for exercise.

So if you are running, cross country skiing, skating, walking your dog or any other activity, dress appropriately, be safe and most of all have fun.

My tip of the day: Don't forget to stretch before exercise whether it is inside or outside. Getting your muscles limber and warm will reduce your chance of injury.

I believe that Faith can move mountains.





 

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