Exercising in Cold Weather

Exercise has benefits all year, even during winter. But before you brave the cold, take a few extra steps to stay safe. Exposure to cold can cause health problems such as hypothermia, a dangerous drop in body temperature.

Senior woman wearing a snow hat and jacketIf you want to walk, ski, ice skate, shovel snow, or do other outdoor activities when it’s cold outside:

  • Check the weather forecast. If it’s very windy or cold, exercise inside with Go4Life videos on YouTube, and go out another time.
  • Also watch out for snow and icy sidewalks.
  • Warm up your muscles first. Try walking or light arm pumping before you go out.
  • Wear several layers of loose clothing. The layers will trap warm air between them.
  • Avoid tight clothing, which can keep your blood from flowing freely and lead to loss of body heat.
  • Wear a waterproof coat or jacket if it’s snowy or rainy.
  • Wear a hat, scarf, and gloves.

Know the signs of hypothermia:

  • Watch for signs of hypothermia: cold feet and hands, swollen face, pale skin, shivering, slurring words, acting sleepy, and being confused or angry.
  • Be on the lookout for later signs of hypothermia: moving slowly, trouble walking, slow heartbeat, shallow breathing, and blacking out.
  • Call 911 right away if you think someone might have hypothermia! Get the person inside and wrap him or her in a warm blanket.

Quick Tip

For more cold weather tips, see Stay Safe in Cold Weather and the AgePage Hypothermia: A Cold Weather Hazard.

 

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