Exercising outdoors has many different benefits: it allows you to lose or maintain your weight, while keeping your arteries and your heart healthy. Don't let the hostile temperatures of winter stop you from exercising!
If you live in areas where temperatures go near 32º F, you should be careful if you exercise outdoors. When the body's temperature drops very low, it becomes unable to maintain its normal temperature. This condition is called hypothermiaand is characterized by drowsiness, confusion, and slowness, which can lead to death if not treated quickly. It is therefore necessary to take the following steps in order to ensure that your body doesn't lose heat:
- Dress properly:Wearing the right clothing is essential. First of all, wear a "layer" of clothing that is adjusted to your body, so your skin is completely covered. Beware of cotton, because it can absorb moisture from your sweat and, therefore, keep you wet and make you even colder. It's better to wear clothes made with a combination of cotton and synthetic fibers. The clothes you wear in the following "layer" should be made of wool, in order to protect you against the cold wind.
- Don't forget about winter accessories:Your hands, your head, and your ears might also suffer from the cold wind. Don't forget to wear a good pair of gloves, a hat, and a scarf. If the weather is extremely cold, you can use a ski mask to cover your mouth and nose from the cold wind.
- Stay hydrated:Drink enough water before, during, and after exercising. Take sports drinks to replenish the electrolytes you've lost through sweat. Despite the cold temperatures, your body loses fluids and needs to replenish them.
- Wear reflectors:If you leave very early in the morning, make sure to wear reflectors in your shoes or in your jacket. The morning frost and darkness can interfere with your visibility, and this can put you at risk if you exercise on busy roads or streets.
- Enjoy!Take all these precautionary measures during winter, and enjoy the view of blue skies in the cold mornings and treetops covered by snow.
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