Tag Archives: winter safety

Tips to Keep Safe in The Winter Cold

Winter can be a favored season for those who enjoy winter sports or are fond of the snow, but it can also be a perilous time of year, opening the door for many seasonal dangers. Let’s take a look at some precautionary tips to heed in the winter:

  • Bundle up – It is best to wear layers (and pack extra ones) in winter so you can take them off if you’re too warm or add to them if you’re too cold. If you tend to get cold hands or feet easily (or if you suffer from Raynaud’s), you can buy a variety of mini hand warmers to put in your gloves or winter boots.
  • Keep an eye on the weather – If you are planning an outdoors excursion in the winter cold, be sure to check up on the forecast beforehand. If the temperature or wind-chill is too low or there’s a storm brewing, you should plan it for a different date.
  • Don’t let hypothermia creep in – Many people think hypothermia only happens in sub-freezing temperatures, but that is a misconception. This deadly winter danger can strike in temperatures as high as 50’F depending on the other conditions. Read more about hypothermia in our post: Must-Know Facts About Hypothermia.
  • Keep a ‘Winter Kit’ in your car – Be sure to pre-pack a winter emergency kit in the trunk of your car in case you get stranded in the cold. You may want to include: a thermal (foil) blanket, extra coat, mittens and hat, an extra pair of boots as well as a full change of clothes including a couple pairs of socks (in case you have to spend the night somewhere without heat). You should also include some food rations, water, instant heat-packs, a first aid kit, some Advil or Tylenol, a flashlight and a swiss army knife or similar tool.
  • If you have a lung condition, avoid the cold air – The harsh, dry winter air can be rough on the lungs of an asthmatic or COPD sufferer. It can cause the airways to constrict (bronchoconstriction). This can directly contribute to an asthma attack, especially when combined with physical exertion. So, be sure to limit your outside time when the temperature drops too low or wear a scarf around your face if you have a compromised respiratory system!
  • Know the signs of frostbite – Are your extremities so cold they are starting to tingle or hurt, or change color? It is important to know the signs so frostnip doesn’t turn into full-fledged frostbite! Take our Frostbite Quiz to learn more.
  • Pack a car phone charger – It is important to always take your cell phone when driving or walking anywhere alone in winter. If you get stranded in the cold because of a flat tire or wrong turn and your phone has died, a car cell phone charger may save your buns. You can also purchase battery-fueled and solar powered phone chargers.
  • Beware of Icy Accidents – another feared winter danger is an icy slip-and-fall. Falls are major contributors to premature death, especially in the elderly population. It is so easy to hit your head or break an arm when slipping on the ice. Use special gripping tracks on your shoes and boots and always walk slowly and tentatively on icy surfaces with your hands out to brace you.

Keep an eye out for Winter Safety Tips for Children in the future! Thanks for visiting DocChat.

Tips for Exercising Safely in Winter

Winter can be a beautiful and refreshing season to pursue outdoors exercise and activity, but can also be the most treacherous time to do so if you don’t take the proper precautions. Let’s take a look at some essential safety tips for winter fitness:

  • Listen to your body – if you are feeling uncomfortable or out of the ordinary in any way while exercising outdoors, stop and head back inside to see what may be going on. You could be dehydrated, sick or even on your way to frostbite or hypothermia. You know your body best, so listen to its signals.
  • Avoid extreme cold – it is better not to exercise in extreme temperatures as the body has a difficult time adapting to the conditions and can more easily overheat, under-heat or overexert which can result in health problems such as fainting or even heart or respiratory issues, so avoid outdoor activity in extreme cold.
  • Try to avoid getting stuck in the dark – It starts getting dark much earlier during the winter months, so be sure to time your exercise so you catch the daylight. The last thing you want is to be stuck on some backwoods road on snowshoes surrounded by darkness (and who knows what else).
  • Practice extra caution if you have a heart or lung condition – The cold air can constrict the airways which is bad news for those with asthma or COPD, plus exertion can also bring on an asthma attack, so that could be a double whammy. Similarly, those with heart conditions should beware that the cold puts even more strain on your system than just regular exercise and tends to increase blood pressure.
  • Always take your phone or a buddy – In case you slip on the ice while walking, get lost or need assistance for any other reason, it is a good idea to take your phone with you whenever you exercise outdoors so you can call for help if needed. Exercising with a buddy is also a good plan in case of trouble.
  • Don’t venture away from the path – It is smart to map out your exercise route beforehand and to try not to veer off your predetermined course. More can go wrong in cold winter conditions, so don’t take any chances just for adventure’s sake.
  • Warm up and cool down properly – When exercising in cold or hot climates it is more important than ever to properly warm up and cool down to give your body time to acclimatize in the extreme conditions.
  • Invest in ice-gripping shoe tracks ­– A bad fall could cause heavy bruising, broken bones or a coma or death if you hit your head. Who wants to take that chance? Luckily, you can invest in ice-gripping tracks to go on your winter footwear to help prevent falls.
  • Wear layers – it is important to dress appropriately for the cold. Not only should you layer up (so you can take a layer off if you work up a sweat), but you should also make sure you wear mittens or gloves as well as warm socks and a hat if required. The CDC suggests an inner layer of wool or polypropylene to help draw sweat away from your body.
  • Check the forecast – Always check the weather before heading out to exercise in winter. If the wind chill is not ideal, temperatures are too cold, or there is bad weather on the way it is best not to tempt fate. Know when to opt for an indoors workout instead.

So, there you have our winter exercise safety tips! We hope they help you stay healthy and safe this winter. Thanks for visiting DocChat!