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Take care when exercising in the cold

Pam LeBlanc

Editor’s note: This article was originally published December 23, 2013

We’ve had some nice cold snaps this season, and hopefully they’re not done yet.

Even if you live in Austin, it’s good to remember that it’s important to dress appropriately when you’re exercising outdoors in cold weather.

Here are some tips from the American Council on Exercise:

  • Layer Up: Clothing adds to the insulation barrier. By wearing clothing in layers, you can change the amount of insulation needed as you work out.
  • Protect your head: Heat loss from the head alone accounts for about half of all body heat loss when temperatures hit 32 degrees. Wear a helmet or hat and you can stay outside much longer.
  • Don’t leave the house without gloves: Blood is diverted away from your hands to organs at the center of the body when temperatures drop. Superficial warming of the hands using gloves will return blood flow to prevent tissue damage.
  • Check with the weatherman: Know the air temperature and wind chill factor before stepping outside. A wind chill factor below minus 20 can damage exposed skin.