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How to “safely” exercise in cold temperatures in Calgary (or anywhere else)

A couple walking in cold weather

Calgary has very nice weather in summer and spring times. Lots of people would like to go outdoors to get that dose of sunshine with their daily exercise.

But what about fall and winter?

Actually, fall is a favourable season for many people, where temperatures can go up and down, but in general, it is a little chilly. Still, people can get a little exercise outside.

The winter in Calgary is also inspiring! We can get some snow; then, with quick Chinook winds, the snow can taper down, leaving some room for winter exercising enthusiasts.

If you want some tips, tricks, and advice about your chilly weather exercise, then this article is for you.

Don’t forget to consult your doctor or physician when you are beginning a new sport or diet or a considerable change in things that may affect your general health.

Walking and running in cold weather: Tips for staying safe and comfortable

– Dress in layers: Wearing layers of clothing will help you stay warm and dry. Ideally, you should dress in a base layer of moisture-wicking material, a middle layer of insulation, and an outer layer that is water and wind-resistant.

– Protect your extremities: Be sure to wear a hat, gloves, and proper footwear to protect your hands, feet, and head from the cold.

– Be visible: If you are walking or running in low-light conditions, be sure to wear bright, reflective clothing so that you can be seen by drivers.

– Warm up before you start: Cold muscles are more susceptible to injury, so it’s important to warm up before you start your walk or run. A simple warm-up routine of walking or light jogging for 5-10 minutes should do the trick.

– Know your limits: Don’t push yourself too hard when exercising in cold weather. If you start to feel fatigued, stop and rest.

What to wear when exercising in cold weather

As mentioned above, dressing in layers is key when exercising in cold weather. In addition to layers, here are a few other clothing items to keep in mind:

– Moisture-wicking base layer: A base layer made of moisture-wicking material will help keep you dry and comfortable.

– Insulating middle layer: A middle layer of insulation, such as a fleece or down jacket, will help keep you warm.

– Water and wind-resistant outer layer: A water and wind-resistant outer layer, such as a Gore-Tex jacket, will protect you from the elements.

– Hat: A hat will help keep your head and ears warm.

– Gloves: Gloves will help keep your hands warm.

– Proper footwear: Wearing proper footwear is essential for both walking and running in cold weather. Be sure to choose a shoe that is comfortable, has good traction, and is appropriate for the weather conditions.

Health dangers of exercising in cold weather

Although exercising in cold weather has many benefits, there are also some health risks to be aware of. Here are a few of the most common health dangers of exercising in cold weather:

– Hypothermia: Hypothermia is a condition in which your body temperature drops below 95 degrees Fahrenheit. Symptoms of hypothermia include shivering, confusion, slurred speech, and drowsiness. If you suspect you or someone else has hypothermia, it is important to seek medical attention immediately.

– Frostbite: Frostbite is a condition that occurs when the skin and tissue freeze. Symptoms of frostbite include numbness, tingling, and pain. If you suspect you have frostbite, it is important to seek medical attention immediately.

– Asthma: Cold weather can trigger asthma symptoms in some people. If you have asthma, be sure to carry your inhaler with you and dress in layers to help keep your airways warm and moist. There is also the less severe version of asthma which is exercise-induced asthma. You have to check with your doctor if you need prescription medication for that type of asthma or if no medication will be required, and it may go on its own.

– Heart Attack: Exercise in cold weather can put an extra strain on your heart. If you have a heart condition, be sure to check with your doctor before exercising in cold weather.

In summary, although exercising is very beneficial, it could be challenging in the winters of Calgary. Make sure to consult your family doctor before beginning new activities.

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