Dr Jessica Sammut
How You can Stay Safe while Exercising in Winter
Updated: Nov 1, 2018
Without a doubt, Australian winter can be cold and icy, particularly down south. Depending on where you live, you may still even be navigating your winter exercise in the snow! If you're one of those super motivated people who is not put off exercising outside (and in the dark of winter) then here are some of Whole Health Osteopathy's quick tips for staying safe while exercising in Winter:
Always tell someone where you are going especially if you are planning a long run or cycle. If you are training in remote areas, or even just for your peace of mind, you may even consider Strava Beacon, or another GPS app that sends your exact location to a training or accountability buddy.
Alternatively, organise to do your exercise with an accountability buddy. Safety in numbers, as well as that extra motivation to get out and about in the cold.
You lose around 50% of your body heat from your head, so always wear a hat or beanie.
Wear reflective clothing when you can, even in the daylight, this can help others see you quickly and easily.
Check the weather before you go, especially if you are going out for some time, the last thing you want is to be at your furthest point when the weather changes.
Ensure your footwear is secure and durable to prevent slipping – the same applies to tyres if you are cycling.
Even when it is freezing, always drink plenty of fluids before and after your exercise. You will still sweat and lose electrolytes, even if it is snowing!
If you have poor circulation to your hands, consider wearing gloves. If you are worried about your hands getting too warm try using layers – at least then you can remove a layer if need be.
Layer up with lightweight clothing that will keep moisture away from your body. Try to wear at least three layers and ensure the top layer is water repellent and wind resistant.
Wear an item of clothing with a high neck and if the temperature does get icy, cover your face with a mask or scarf.
Make sure your priority when you get back from exercising in the cold is to hydrate and get warm as soon as possible – whether that be a shower, bath or change into warm clothing.
Don't underestimate how cold it gets when the sun is down and you're exercising in the middle of winter, even in Australia! There are some great reasons to get out and about in the winter, and you can read about them here, but always stay safe, stay hydrated, and exercise smart.