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Health & Fitness

Exercising Safely in Cold Weather

The pandemic continues, and while you’re masking up and staying home, that can be especially frustrating in the winter months, when outdoor exercise may be more difficult than at other times of the year. If you can’t afford – or don’t want – bulky exercise equipment in your house, here are some tips from the National Institute on Aging (NIA) that can get you going even if the thermometer is low.

It’s important to stay safe, the NIA says, even if that means postponing your daily wakj. Check the weather forecast. If it is very windy or cold, you can stay inside and try some online exercise videos until the temperature stabilizes at a more comfortable level.

Watch out for snow and icy sidewalks, the NIA says. Be sure that the shoes or boots you are wearing have soles that can grip dangerous surfaces.

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Warm up your muscles first. The NIA suggests that you try walking or light arm pumping before you go out.

You can safely exercise outdoors in every season, including the winter months. However, it is important to take steps to stay safe:

Pick the right clothes. Wear several layers of loose clothing. The layers will trap warm air between them. Avoid tight clothing, which can keep your blood from flowing freely and lead to loss of body heat.

Wear a waterproof coat or jacket if it’s snowy or rainy. Wear a hat, scarf, and gloves. You lose a lot of body heat when your head and neck are uncovered, the NIA says. Change your clothes right away if they get damp or wet.

Learn the signs of hypothermia, which is brought on by low body temperature. For an older person, a body temperature of 95°F or lower can cause many health problems, such as a heart attack, kidney problems, liver damage, or worse. Being outside in the cold, or even being in a very cold house, can lead to hypothermia.

For more information on health and aging, click here to visit the NIA’s website.

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