It’s wintertime and it’s cold outside. If you’re an avid exerciser who loves to exercise outdoors no matter what the weather, here are some tips for you to stay safe.

•Plan ahead. Make sure you have appropriate clothing available before you make plans to go for an outdoor adventure. Tell family and friends where you will be going.

•Start slow. Don’t forget to stretch and warm up. It’s cold out, so you will probably feel cold when you first start out. As you keep on moving, you will warm up.

•Know what the wind chill is before setting out to exercise. The wind can penetrate your clothes and remove the insulating layer of warm air that surrounds your body. The faster you move, the more wind chill you create because air movement is increased past your body. If the temperature drops below 20 degrees Fahrenheit, stick with an indoor activity.

•Know the warning signs of frostbite. Numbness, loss of feeling or a sharp stinging sensation are early signs of frostbite. Frostbite is most common on the face, fingers and toes. At first, you may notice a patch of pale or white skin. After mild frostbite, the skin becomes red and swollen as the blood returns. A severe case of frostbite may cause the skin to turn purple or black when rewarmed. Always seek medical help.

•Beware of hypothermia. Hypothermia is a serious condition where your body temperature drops too low. If you are intensely shivering, having a problem completing complex tasks, slurring your speech, or experiencing mental confusion, you should seek medical attention right away.

•Make sure to eat well to maintain your energy. As with any exercise regime, you should be sure to eat nutritious meals and snacks regularly throughout the day to maintain the energy needed for exercise.

•Stay visible. Try to exercise in the daylight, if possible. If you decide to exercise during the darker hours, wear brighter colored or reflective clothing.

•Beware…road may be slippery. Choose shoes that will provide enough traction to prevent falls. Also, remember that cars may not be able to stop as quickly on icy roads, so be sure to stay clear of traffic. In slippery, icy conditions, choose an indoor activity.

•Head into the wind. Finish your workout with your back to the wind. This will reduce your chances of getting frostbite on the areas of your body covered in perspiration.
•Drink plenty of fluids. You can easily become dehydrated in cold weather because you lose water from sweating and breathing, and there is also a decrease in urine production in cold weather. To prevent this, drink plenty of water or sports drinks before and during whatever activity you are doing.

•Avoid breathing problems. Wearing a scarf or face mask over your mouth can prevent asthma attacks by warming the air going into your lungs.

Author's Bio: 

Bonnie R. Giller helps chronic dieters and people with medical conditions like diabetes take back control so they can get the healthy body and life they want. She does this by creating a tailored solution that combines three essential ingredients: a healthy mindset, nutrition education and caring support. The result is they lose weight and keep it off without dieting and live a healthy life symptom free.

Bonnie is a Registered Dietitian (R.D.), Certified Dietitian-Nutritionist (CDN) and Certified Diabetes Educator (C.D.E.) with specialized training in Intuitive Eating. She offers programs for the chronic dieter to achieve long lasting weight loss, for people with diabetes to attain blood sugar control and prevent diabetes complications, and for those suffering with irritable bowel syndrome to identify their food triggers so they can enjoy a symptom free life. Bonnie also treats a variety of other medical conditions, and offers a nutrition program teaching young children how to make healthy food choices.

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