Exercise is one of the best ways to reduce high blood pressure, boost your mood and control weight. But it’s especially important to exercise safely during winter. Here are some safety precautions you should take when exercising outdoors:
- Avoiding injuries is a must in winter. Slippery patches on sidewalks or roads can cause you to lose your balance and fall. If you have to cross ice, choose your route carefully and always walk facing traffic. The safest shoes for walking on ice or snow are non-skid boots or shoes with good tread.
- When exercising in cold weather, remember that your body will need more fluids than usual. Drink plenty of water before, during and after your workout and wear warm clothing to keep yourself comfortable. It’s also important to replace electrolytes lost through perspiration by drinking sports drinks during and after exercise.
- Wear appropriate clothing for the activity you’re doing, particularly a good pair of shoes for running. Dressing in layers can help keep you warm as well as comfortable.
- Cover up your ears when outside in the cold. Ear protection can go a long way toward keeping the cold out and keeping you safe from frostbite. Cold air is drawn into your ear canal, so if it’s unprotected, it can get dangerously cold inside, causing ruptured blood vessels or other damage that leads to frostbite.
- Schedule your workouts. Don’t just hope that the snow will melt and you’ll be able to get outside. Schedule indoor workouts with friends or family members so you have no choice but to get out there. If that doesn’t work, set alarms on your smartphone or computer as a reminder to get moving.
- Invest in a treadmill or exercise bike. There’s nothing wrong with watching TV while you pedal away at a stationary bike — just make sure to actually pedal.