In these waning days of November with the advent of cold weather, it is a good idea to remind ourselves that inclement weather conditions are not an excuse to blow off exercise. Last week I wrote Cold Weather Cycling for bike riders like me who go year ’round.
The National Institute on Aging has a number of very useful suggestions for continuing to enjoy a variety of outdoor activities.
If you want to walk, run, ski, ice skate, or any other outdoor activities when it’s cold outside, (Please read Shoveling Snow is Dangerous.):
Check the weather forecast. If it’s very windy or cold, exercise inside with a Go4Life DVD and go out another time.
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.
Eat less; move more; live longer. We still need to do it regardless of the conditions outside.