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Read This Before You Exercise Outside in the Winter

There are two things you always hear when people talk about living a healthy lifestyle — diet and exercise. However, there are a few times when exercising can actually do more harm than good.

When is it Too Cold to Exercise Outside?

There’s a big difference between cold and freezing temperatures. Exercising in cool weather can actually be good for you — it prevents your body temperature from spiking and can help you burn more calories. The danger is when you reach freezing and subzero temperatures.

If the temperature (or wind chill) is below 10 degrees Fahrenheit, we suggest moving your workout inside. Even if you dress warm, your health could still be in danger.

Why It’s Dangerous to Exercise in Freezing Temperatures

  • Ice-covered streets. You run the risk of slipping and falling on melting snow or black ice when you run in very cold temperatures.
  • Overheating. Though it sounds like an oxymoron, it is possible to overheat while exercising in the cold. When people exercise in the cold, they sometimes put on too many layers of clothes.
  • Hypothermia. If your body temperature gets too low (typically below 94 degrees Fahrenheit) you’ll enter a state of hypothermia. Hypothermia can cause severe health problems, including heart attack, kidney problems, and liver damage.
  • Exacerbated asthma symptoms. If you suffer from asthma, especially exercise-induced asthma, dry, cold air can make it very difficult to breathe.
  • Dehydration. Particularly if you begin to overheat, it can be easy to get dehydrated. Even if you’re not thirsty, it’s important to drink water before and after a workout.
  • Lack of other people. Whenever you exercise, it’s important to do so in a well-populated area. Because there are fewer people on the streets in the winter, it may be hard to find help if you experience hypothermia, frostbite, or an injury.

While we can treat your illness, we’d prefer to prevent you from getting sick or injured in the first place. Before exercising or other physical activity, have your blood pressure tested and other lab work tests performed at Bloomfield & Plymouth Urgent Medical Care.
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