Cover your face, wear a hat and stay hydrated to exercise safely through the winter


Exercise in cold climates can keep us healthy, but at risk. Credits: Shutterstock

Let’s face it, winter in Canada is a reality we cannot ignore. And for many of us, that means going out and getting into the cold for work, housework, and exercise. However, there are ways to improve comfort and safety while working outdoors in the colder months.

First, “cold” is what physiologists (people who study human function and structure) call “stressors.” This means that the body recognizes the cold as what it needs to maintain homeostasis (if the body’s functioning is stable).

You can immerse yourself in various types of cold, such as cold and cold. Cold water-Where Cold environment It can be emphasized by wind, snow and rain.Here are some guidelines for exercising in the cold — there are different tips For cold water swimming..

If you have an underlying illness or high blood pressure, talk to your doctor about how long you will stay outdoors and what types of activities are recommended in the winter.

Maintaining core temperature

Interestingly, in the nude or semi-nude state, the body begins to recognize the cold as a stressor at about 28.5 ° C. At this temperature, the body’s coping mechanism is activated to maintain core temperature. This is why you often tremble when you get off the shower or when you’re not dressed (such as when you lie on the beach in the summer).

Cover your face, put on a hat to rehydrate, and exercise safely during the winter.

By dressing appropriately for the weather conditions, you can ensure your safety and increase the enjoyment of your activities. Credits: Shutterstock

Adding insulating clothing to your body lowers the temperature at which you begin to feel the stress of the cold.of Cold wave In the environment, using energy to move muscles for activities such as snow shoveling and cross-country skiing causes the body to generate a lot of heat. Therefore, with proper insulating clothing and sufficient muscular work, you can feel very comfortable, so-called thermal comfort, from cold to very cold weather.

However, there are still ways to reduce the risk of exercising outdoors in the colder months and improve comfort. There are a few things to consider when deciding on outdoor exercise in the winter.

Cover your skin

Reduce exposed skin as much as possible. The Recently updated guidelines from the American College of Sports Medicine Frostbite, which is “direct frostbite of the skin surface …”, indicates that it can occur at only -3 ° C. Tissues with low blood flow, such as hands, feet, and head, are particularly cold (than -15C temperature or -27C wind chill).

Frostbite can be accelerated by contact with cold substances (metals, snow, ice) and moist skin. Wear hygroscopic clothing that is highly wicking, remove moisture from your skin, and always cover your head, feet, and hands.

Your face also needs to be covered for several reasons. Covering the cheeks, forehead, nose, and neck improves thermal comfort adjustments, especially in windy conditions, making activities such as toboggan and alpine skiing more comfortable. The skin on your face can take a real heartbeat —Even in moderately windy conditions, the temperature of the skin on the face can drop by 25 ° C...

If you have some underlying chronic condition, including: High blood pressure Or heart disease, you need to cover your face. Exposing your face to the cold (only -5 C) works on parts of the nervous system that can increase blood pressure.Simply wearing a toque and scarf You can reduce this increase..

Cover your face, put on a hat to rehydrate, and exercise safely during the winter.

Frostbite and frostbite can cause serious health damage if not treated promptly with proper medical care. Credits: Shutterstock

Protects lungs and breathing

Our lungs are particularly vulnerable to the cold environment where exercise actually increases stress on the lungs in winter conditions. Your lungs, for good reason, want to warm and humidify the air we breathe to body temperature and 100 percent humidity. They do this really well at rest, but you need more effort to adjust the air you breathe while exercising.

With high breathing rates plus cold air (as seen during exercise), the lungs are really challenged to warm and humidify each breath. Airway cooling is associated with nervous system responses, and airway dryness is associated with inflammatory responses. May contract the lungs (often called cold bronchoconstriction)..

Cold activity at less than 0 ° C, moderate exercise intensity (active walking pace), It also causes respiratory symptoms There is a very common runny nose and inflammation of the nose (itching, burning sensation). With more intense exercise (such as hard runs and cross-country skiing), symptoms increase, with excessive mucus, productive cough (mucus production), unproductive cough (irritating cough), and chest tightness. (Dyspnea), wheezing, sore throat; These symptoms can last up to 24 hours after severe cold training..

You can take several actions to alleviate these symptoms. First, slowing exercise gives your body the opportunity to regulate the air with each breath.Second, buffs, scarves, or Cold protection mask Helps to absorb water and humidify the next breath. Third, moderate exercise for 30 minutes can increase symptoms and airway contractions, thus reducing total exposure time in cold air. And finally, drink plenty of water during prolonged seizures in cold weather, as you can lose 100 milliliters of water per hour due to intense breathing exercises in the cold air.

The Mayo Clinic provides tips for exercising in the cold.

in preparation

Not being ready in cold weather increases the overall risk of injuries associated with hypothermia and other cold weather. In fact, more than half of the deaths associated with natural weather events are due to cold weather. It is directly caused by accidental hypothermia (death due to a significant decrease in body temperature). Hypothermia exacerbates existing conditions.. Keep in mind that accidental hypothermia can occur even in moderate cold. This potentially puts outdoor enthusiasts at risk..

It is also well documented that alcohol intake is a major risk factor for accidental hypothermia. With prolonged exposure and improper clothing..other cold weather Injuries include frostbite and frostbite, which can have serious health consequences. If not treated promptly with proper medical care..

I hope this helps to better understand some of the physiology behind how humans interact. cold environment. More importantly, we hope that some of these tips can be used to increase enjoyment and safety in winter, especially when temperatures are well below 0 degrees Celsius.

Tips for exercising outdoors in winter

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