Preparing for Winter Activities (and Work!)

November 29, 2016

Couple cross-country skiingMany of us enjoy being outdoors in the cold. And those of us who don’t may still have to work to clear away snow from walkways and cars. Before braving the weather, take a few extra steps to stay safe and warm. If you want to walk, ski, ice skate, shovel snow, or participate in other cold-weather activities:

  • Check the forecast. If it’s too windy or cold, consider indoor activities or going out at another time.
  • Watch out for snowy and icy sidewalks and driveways.
  • Warm up your muscles by walking, or light arm-pumping before going outside.
  • Wear several layers of loose clothing to trap warm air between. 
  • Avoid tight clothing, which can keep your blood from flowing freely and lead to loss of body heat.
  • Wear boots with good traction. 
  • Wear a waterproof coat or jacket and a hat, scarf, and gloves.

Know the signs of hypothermia

  • Watch for cold feet and hands, swollen face, pale skin, shivering, slurring speech, sleepiness, and being confused or angry.
  • Watch for later signs of hypothermia such as moving slowly, trouble walking, slow heartbeat, shallow breathing, and blacking out.
  • Call 911 right away if you or someone you know might have hypothermia. Get the person inside and wrap them in a warm blanket.

Source: National Institute on Aging

Image credit: shironosov/iStock/Thinkstock