Almost everyone can exercise outdoors in winter weather, unless you have such conditions as asthma or heart disease. Whether you plan to exercise or know you will spend time outdoors, here are some tips to stay safe in frigid temps!
CHECK THE WEATHER FORECAST AND WIND CHILL
Before you head outside, check the forecast. Temperature, wind and moisture are key factors when you plan a cold-weather workout. Wind can penetrate clothing, which can take away the warm layer of air surrounding your body. Any exposed skin is vulnerable to frostbite.
SIGNS OF FROSTBITE AND HYPOTHERMIA
Caused by freezing, frostbite typically occurs on exposed skin -- your cheeks, nose and ears. It can also occur on hands and feet. Warning signs are numbness, loss of feeling or a stinging sensation. Get out of the cold immediately if you suspect frostbite and slowly, gently warm the affected area. If the numbness doesn’t go away, seek emergency care.
Hypothermia is a condition where your body temperature is abnormally low. Your body begins to lose heat faster than it can warm it up. Older adults and young children are at the greatest risk. Symptoms include uncontrollable shivering, slurred speech, loss of coordination and fatigue. If you suspect hypothermia, seek emergency help right away!
DRESS IN LAYERS
Air trapped between layers acts as extra insulation. Wear clothes in layers:
Layer 1: A layer of synthetic fabric that deflects sweat. Not cotton, which stays wet close to the skin. (continues on next column)
Dress in Layers, continued
Layer 2: A wool or fleece jacket, keeping you toasty-warm.
Layer 3: A wind- and water-proof outer layer.
PROTECT YOUR HEAD, HANDS,
FEET AND EARS
For more information, contact THRIVE! Partner Lorain County Public Health at 440-322-6367.
Keep Moving Indoors!
Exercising indoors during the cold weather months can help you stay in shape. It also can help fend off colds and flus. Plus, it will let you burn off some of that holiday weight and will keep your mood upbeat during the winter “blahs” and “blues.”
Doing any kind of activity is better than being a couch potato this winter. Here are some ways to get going:
YOGA You can do yoga anywhere in the house – bedroom, bathroom, living room. It’s a great way to warm up your body in the morning and it improves breathing and flexibility. See Deb Lansman classes here.
CARDIO EXERCISE If you can’t walk or run outdoors, consider other ways to get your heart pumping: climbing stairs, jumping rope, deep-knee bends, jogging in place or jumping jacks.
DANCE! Turn on your favorite music and dance. Get the kids (or grandkids) involved. Dance for 10 to 15 minutes every day. It will put a huge smile on your face!
CALISTHENICS The military uses bodyweight exercise (or calisthenics) to build up strong bodies. Try these: leg lifts, push-ups, sit-ups, squats or crunches.
Health and Fitness Quotes:
“Health is the greatest possession. Contentment is the greatest treasure. Confidence is the greatest friend.”
-- Lao Tzu
“Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live.”
“Physical fitness is not only one of the most important keys to a healthy body,
it is the basis of dynamic and creative intellectual activity.”
-- President John F. Kennedy
“To keep the body in good health is a duty ... otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear.”