Cold weather safety during winter workouts

3 years 6 months 1 week ago Friday, November 14 2014 Nov 14, 2014 Friday, November 14, 2014 2:42:00 PM CST November 14, 2014 in News
By: Genevieve Reaume, KOMU 8 Reporter

COLUMBIA - Cold weather is here, spending much of the week below the freezing mark.

But, your workout does not have to be sacrificed when the cold weather rolls in.  William Starks is studying to complete his exercise science degree as well as his personal training certification. He says there are many aspects to consider before hitting the trail or field for a winter workout.

"The last thing you want to do is cut directions really sharp, with stiff, cold joints, and pull something," Starks said.

Starks works mostly indoors with his clients, but there are aspects of the routine that are completed outside, including a warm-up run.  He said this is the most important part of a winter workout.

"If they are going to go outside, just make sure they are adequately warmed up," Starks said. "So they are not putting themselves at risk of pulling something."

But, wearing every layer of clothing in the closet won't actually keep you safe from cold temperatures. "That's also another concern," Starks said. "People layer up so much that it causes overheating and restricts your range of motion from certain exercises."

He said it is important to wear a comfortable amount of layers, that you can peel off, so your skin isn't susceptible to the cold weather after the sweat has opened up the pores of your skin.

Starks says the following points are what athletes should consider before they hit the road for their freezing-cold workout.

  • Be aware of black ice and adjust your workout safely.
  • Be cautious if you workout is outside and are already sick.  The cold air exposed to your lungs and esophagus can make your condition worse.
  • Make sure there is no discoloration that could possibly be frostbite in your fingers. 
  • Pay attention to your breathing.
  • Drink water - it is necessary to perform all sports exercises in any weather conditions.

Starks says it is important to find some way to workout, even during the cold seasons. He said it is important to find a way, like walking on a treadmill or up some stairs, to keep your heart rate up.

"I would strongly discourage taking an entire season off with no physical activity," Starks said. "You know, just because of the weather, because you're going to find yourself having to catch up with the progress you made earlier in the year."

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