Do you love exercising outside? If so, here is some great news: You can keep your outdoor fitness routine going during the winter months if you take a few precautions. First, if you suffer from conditions such as asthma or heart problems, or, if you are on any medications, check with your doctor about the potential risks associated with outdoor winter activities. Otherwise, grab some comfortable layers and shoes with good traction and head outside!
Winter Workout Safety Tips
Follow these simple tips to stay healthy, fit – and safe – during the winter months.
- While planning your winter fitness outings, check the weather conditions and wind chill. Sometimes, if heavy snow and ice are expected, or if the wind chill is too fierce, it may be better to play it safe and work out indoors.
- Understand the symptoms of frostbite and hypothermia. If you feel numbness, loss of feeling, or a stinging sensation on any part of your body, get indoors and call for help immediately. Or, if you start to shiver, slur your speech, or suddenly loose your coordination, it is likely that you are experienced hypothermia. So, seek medical attention right away.
- Dress in appropriately warm layers that you can remove when you start to sweat. Choose wool or a synthetic material such as polyester for your layers – cotton holds moisture and stays wet next to your skin. Also, make sure that you have good shoes with solid traction in case you hit any slippery spots.
- Wear a hat, gloves, good socks, and ear warmers (of some type) to protect your head, hands, feet, and ears. While it is always important to keep your core warm, protecting these parts will help you guard against frostbite.
- Wear reflective clothing in the early morning and evening – and do not forget your sunscreen! During the winter months, it is darker in the mornings and early evenings, so stay visible to cars with the appropriate clothing. Also, just because it is not hot outside does not mean you cannot get a nasty sunburn during the winter. So, slather on the SPF protection just like you would in the summer.
- Stay hydrated. The colder weather can fool you into thinking that you are not losing fluids while exercising. However, this is not the case. Therefore, you should keep a water bottle, taking frequent sips to ensure that your body gets what it needs to perform.
Finally, have fun and stay safe out there!