By: Brigitte Yuille, volunteer
Weather experts advise that although temperatures may be unusually high this winter, cold-air outbreaks and snowstorms can be expected.
Some people enjoy staying home with a hot beverage, a warm and hearty meal, snuggling beneath a cozy blanket beside a crackling fire in the fireplace. As nice as that sounds, you’ll still need to stay active and safe. So, here are three ways to prepare and stay healthy this winter season.
Do you know the winter storm risks, history, and snow management in your area? Find out now so you will know what to expect when a storm hits. Get the details from your local emergency management office. Find out how often service vehicles come through your area, what routes they take, and what snow removal equipment they have available. Also, download the Red Cross emergency app onto your smartphone so you can stay aware of the weather conditions.
When you are exercising in the cold, make sure to dress in layers. The MayoClinic advises having three layers. The first layer should be made of synthetic material that draws sweat away from the body, the next layer should be fleece or wool, and the top layer should be breathable and waterproof. Wear a hat, mittens or gloves, two layers of socks, and shoes with traction to prevent slipping. Also, don’t forget to replenish your body with fluids. If you're heading out at dusk or in the evening, wear reflective clothing.
Most importantly, pay attention to the wind chill index and the temperature for that day. The wind chill index makes a big difference because the wind can penetrate you clothes and if your skin is uncovered, you can become vulnerable to frostbite.
So, when the wind chill is below zero degrees Fahrenheit, or if it's snowing or raining, those are among the few times you’ll need to postpone your workout.
For more information on how to stay safe during the cold weather, visit winter storm safety.