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  3. Cold Weather Exercise Safety

Cold Weather Exercise Safety

Release Date: February 1, 2023

Exercise has benefits all year, even during winter. But before you brave the cold, make sure you take a few extra steps to stay safe. It’s important to remember that children, those with illnesses, and older adults are at higher risk of cold-weather health problems including hypothermia, a dangerous drop in body temperature. No matter what cold-weather outdoor activities you do, follow these tips to stay safe:

  • Check the weather forecast. If it’s very windy or cold, consider exercising inside.
  • Watch out for snow and icy sidewalks.
  • Warm up muscles first by walking or light arm pumping before you go out.
  • Wear several layers of loose clothing. The layers will trap warm air between them.
  • Wear a waterproof coat or jacket if it’s snowy or rainy.
  • Wear a hat, scarf, and gloves.

Know the Signs of Hypothermia

If you or a loved one must go outside in cold weather, be sure to watch for signs of hypothermia:

  • Cold feet and hands
  • swollen face
  • pale skin
  • shivering
  • slurring words
  • acting sleepy
  • being confused or angry.

Be on the lookout for later signs of hypothermia:

  • moving slowly
  • trouble walking
  • slow heartbeat
  • shallow breathing
  • blacking out

Call 911 right away if you think someone might have hypothermia! Get the person inside, make sure their clothing is dry, and wrap them in a warm blanket.

For additional information or resources, check out Winter Weather | Ready.gov, National Institute on Aging and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Hypothermia|Winter Weather page.

Last Updated: 05/21/2024
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