If you haven’t noticed I love being outside! The weird part is while I prefer hot climates over cold, I do have a blast running or hiking in the snow. I actually prefer it over running or hiking in the warmth. I think the world is breathtaking with a fresh layer of snow. I get outside, turn on a good book, talk or my new favorite song and become one with the earth. It grounds me, it helps me remember who I am and what I stand for and what I can do to better myself. Like everything else in life there is a safe way to be outside, you might be surprised by some of the information. Check out these suggestions:
Exercising outdoors in cold weather, whether, running, skiing or ice-fishing, can be completely safe — as long as we follow a few necessary precautions.
❄️Layer up. The first layer should be synthetic to draw sweat away, the second should be heavy fleece or wool to insulate, and the third should be breathable waterproof material to repel wind and rain. Avoid cotton, since it will lose its insulating powers when we become sweaty and wet. For extra credit, wear a face mask or scarf to warm the air before it enters the lungs.
❄️Cover up the head, fingers, and toes. Blood flow stays concentrated in our core, making our limbs more susceptible to the cold. Be sure to wear gloves, and consider buying roomier shoes to accommodate thick thermal socks. And heads up! A large percentage of body heat is lost through the head, so wear a hat to trap the heat.
❄️Avoid the rain and wind. The body has a hard time managing its temperature when wet; water draws heat away from the body 25 times faster than air because of its higher density and heat capacity. Strong winds can also be dangerous, pushing air and moisture through our clothes and removing the layer of warm air that surrounds the body.
❄️Don’t overdress. Since our bodies warm up once they get movin’, we should feel cold at first. When performing higher-intensity activities, overdressing can lead to excess sweating, which will cause the body to become wet. Damp skin is an unfortunate conductor of heat loss, and will lower body temperature and increase the risk of hypothermia.
❄️Know the warning signs. The first sign of frostbite is numbness, followed by a tingling or burning sensation. For hypothermia, shivering and confusion are red flags. By dressing properly, any outdoor-athlete can avoid cold-related injuries.