Exercise is a good habit for anyone to get into. There are many health benefits you can get from exercising and staying active. Certain conditions, such as asthma and heart complications, change how you are recommended to exercise, but staying active is important to everybody. However, in adverse weather conditions, you may need to change your exercise routine or take extra precautions to stay safe. If you require physical therapy in Manhattan to help you stay active and get you back on your feet, reach out to us at First Health Physical Therapy and get the help you need!
Exercising in cold weather can be done safely if you stay warm and take into account a few tips. Excluding a few situations we will discuss, if you properly prepare there is no impact of cold weather on your exercising. However, if you are suffering from an injury or pain, and need physical therapy in Manhattan, contact us at First Health Physical Therapy and get help today! Here are some tips to staying safe and warm in the cold season while you exercise:
The temperature, wind, precipitation, and time of exposure are key to planning out a safe winter workout. Wind chill, the effect of cold temperatures and wind, can penetrate clothes that would otherwise keep you warm and bring your temperature down. In extreme wind chill conditions, frostbite can occur in 30 minutes on exposed skin!
Additionally, if it is snowing or raining you might want to take a workout off, or workout inside that day. Being wet lets cold temperature penetrate clothing more and makes sustaining your core body temperature much more difficult.
Underdressing will leave you cold and shivering outside, however, overdressing for a winter workout can be just as bad. Exercising works up a sweat, and as your sweat evaporates it can pull heat away from your body and leave you feeling chilled.
To combat this problem, you will want to dress in layers, which you can remove if you begin to sweat and put back on later. Ideally, your first layer will consist of material that can dissipate your sweat, as opposed to soaking it in and staying on your skin. Next is a layer for insulation, like wool, and last is a waterproof and breathable layer.
In colder temperatures, your blood flow is focused on your core, leaving your extremities and face more vulnerable. Consider wearing gloves and glove liners, hats, earmuffs, and other safety gear, and removing them as you sweat.
A combination of sweating, increased respiration and urine production can make you dehydrated fast. You can become dehydrated in cold weather, just like in warmer weather, but it might be harder to notice when it is colder out. Make sure to replace the fluids lost during your workout, and recognize that dehydration can still occur during the cold weather months.
Frostbite is an injury caused by freezing, usually in exposed skin such as your face, hands, and feet. Early signs of frostbite include stinging and numbness. If you feel early signs of frostbite, get out of the cold and slowly warm the area.
Hypothermia is a condition where you have abnormally low body temperatures. Exercising in cold and wet conditions can increase the risk of hypothermia. Symptoms of hypothermia include intense shivering, slurred speech, fatigue, and loss of coordination. If you exhibit signs of hypothermia, seek help right away.
Exercising and staying active throughout the year is a healthy habit. While outside, weather conditions can change and affect your exercise routine, it is best to continue to stay active. If you need physical therapy in Manhattan to help you stay active and keep you on your feet, contact us at First Health Physical Therapy and get the help you need!