Slide 1 of 19
Staying Fit When It's FreezingWhen the mercury drops and icy winds are whipping about outside, it may be hard to leave the warm comforts of home and make yourself go for a jog.
But working out during the winter doesn't have to be a challenge with the right preparations and safety precautions, you can get your heart rate up while enjoying the fresh, frosty air.
Here are nine tips to help you exercise in winter weather.
Know the signs of frostbite and hypothermiaSlide 2 of 19
Know the signs of frostbite and hypothermiaExposure to cold for long periods of time can cause hypothermia, which occurs when the core body temperature drops below 95 degrees Fahrenheit (35 degrees Celsius).
Symptoms of hypothermia include an inability to think clearly or move easily, shivering, exhaustion, memory loss, drowsiness, fumbling hands, slurred speech, pain in the extremities, a slow and weak pulse, as well as collapse or unconsciousness.
Frostbite is an injury that occurs when skin tissue freezes. In cold weather conditions, any exposed skin is at risk of freezing, which can lead to frostbite, the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps warns.
Symptoms of frostbite include a loss of feeling and a pale or bluish skin tone in one or several extremities. Skin affected by frostbite may feel hard and cause an aching, tingling or stinging pain. A person suffering from frostbite may also be vulnerable to hypothermia. Frostbite occurs most often on the nose, ears, cheeks, chin, fingers or toes, which is why it's vital to keep these areas warm when spending prolonged time outdoors.Slide 3 of 19
Dress in layersSlide 4 of 19
Dress in layersTo smartly dress for a cold weather workout, wear multiple layers that are easy to remove, so that you can take off a layer if you get too hot. Wear lightweight, breathable fabrics that won't restrict your movements.
The number of layers you'll need depends on the intensity of your physical activity and the temperature that day. Each quarter-inch of clothing adds one layer of insulation, according to the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
Make sure that your outermost layer is water-repellent, so that it helps you stay dry if it rains or snows.Slide 5 of 19
Keep your extremities warmSlide 6 of 19
Keep your extremities warmIn cold weather, your body diverts blood flow so that it is concentrated in your body's core, which may leave your hands and feet vulnerable to frostbite, according to the Mayo Clinic. Be sure to wear gloves or mittens when exercising in cooler temperatures, or consider bringing along chemical heat packs to warm up your hands.
In freezing temperatures, a substantial amount of body heat is lost from an uncovered head, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Wearing a hat, such as lightweight fleece cap, will help your body retain heat.
Your ears, nose and mouth need special attention too. Foldable earmuffs, scarves and facemasks are great for covering up these vulnerable areas and shielding them from the cold.Slide 7 of 19
Don't overdressSlide 8 of 19