Exercise in cold weather

Tips for keeping warm while exercising during cold Michigan winters.

According to the National Institute on Aging, you can be safe while exercising outdoors in cold weather. Exercise has benefits all year long, but since Michigan is in a snow and cold belt five months out of the year, we have to know how to exercise so we do not get hypothermia; a dangerous drop in body temperature.

Living in Michigan, many of us love to walk, ski, skate, shovel snow or many other of the outdoor exercises and activities. When planning outdoor activities do some of the following:

  • Check weather forecast. If it is too cold or blistery, exercise indoors and go out the next day.
  • When outside, watch out for snow and icy streets and walks. Use an old ski pole or walking stick for balance.
  • Warm up your muscles first with things like light weights or cans of vegetables in your hands and move your arms.
  • Wear loose clothing in layers. Warm air will trap between the layers and you will stay warmer for a longer period of time. Tight clothing may restrict the blood flow and may cause loss of body heat.
  • Always wear a waterproof coat in the snow and rain. Also, wear a hat, gloves and scares. We lose about 75 percent of our warmness through our uncovered head and neck.

Always watch for hypothermia when outside. Cold feet and hands, swollen face, shivering, slurring of words, and being confused are signs of hypothermia that you can look out for. Call 911 right away if you suspect someone has hypothermia, and get the person inside and wrapped in warm blankets.

As we take care of ourselves during the winter, the outdoors can refresh our body and mind.

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