Frigid temps are approaching quickly BUT it does not mean we have to stop training…it just means we have a few things to take into consideration…
Cold temps bring chance for frostbite, hypothermia, dehydration (yes, you can get dehydrated just as easily in the cold) and injury from cold, tight tissues.
FROSTBITE & HYPOTHERMIA
Cause: Staying out in the cold and wind for too long. Risk increases as air temperature falls below 5 F (minus 15 C), even with low wind speeds. In wind chill of minus 16.6 F (minus 27 C), frostbite can occur on exposed skin in less than 30 minutes.(1)
FROSTBITE occurs when the skin and underlying tissues freeze. A major cause of frostbite is cold-weather conditions. But it can also be caused by direct contact with ice, frozen metal or very cold liquids.
HYPOTHERMIA occurs when your body loses heat faster than it can produce it, causing extremely low body temperature (below 95 F)(1)
Prevent this from happening to you!
The professionals at Mayo Clinic suggest:
Limit time you're outdoors in cold, wet or windy weather. Pay attention to weather forecasts and wind chill readings. In very cold, windy weather, exposed skin can develop frostbite in a matter of minutes.(1)
Dress in several layers of loose, warm clothing. Air trapped between the layers of clothing acts as insulation against the cold. Wear windproof and waterproof outer garments to protect against wind, snow and rain. Choose undergarments that wick moisture away from your skin. Change out of wet clothing — particularly gloves, hats and socks — as soon as possible. .(1)
Wear a hat or headband that fully covers your ears. Heavy woolen or windproof materials make the best headwear for cold protection.(1)
Wear mittens rather than gloves. Mittens provide better protection. Or try a thin pair of glove liners made of a wicking material (such as polypropylene) under a pair of heavier gloves or mittens.(1)
Wear socks and sock liners that fit well, wick moisture and provide insulation. You might also try hand and foot warmers. Be sure the foot warmers don't make your shoes too tight, restricting blood flow.(1)
Watch for signs of frostbite. Early signs of frostbite include red or pale skin, prickling, and numbness. Seek warm shelter if you notice signs of frostbite.(1)
Plan to protect yourself. When traveling in cold weather, carry emergency supplies and warm clothing in case you become stranded. If you'll be in remote territory, tell others your route and expected return date.(1)
Don't drink alcohol if you plan to be outdoors in cold weather. Alcoholic beverages cause your body to lose heat faster.(1)
Eat well-balanced meals and stay hydrated. Doing this even before you go out in the cold will help you stay warm.(1)
Keep moving. Exercise can get the blood flowing and help you stay warm, but don't do it to the point of exhaustion.(1)
Just because it is cold, doesn’t mean that you need less water. In fact, sweat evaporates more rapidly in cold, dry air. Without sweat, we can be tricked into thinking that we do not need to hydrate as often. But remember that we are always losing fluids through, respiration, perspiration and urination. So YES, dehydration is possible, even when it’s cold outside.
The general rule is to consume half of your body weight in ounces, daily.
We have referenced this before, but think of your tissues as taffy. Frozen taffy is not pliable. There is going to be a high risk of injury if you are heading out into the cold to train and have not warmed up properly.
Some of the benefits to warming up are:
Priming the cardiovascular system
Increased tissue temperature
Increased blood flow
So before you head out this Fall/Winter, make it a point to spend 10-15 minutes performing a dynamic warm up (see our recent blog on simple warm up and cool down routines)
Wishing you aLL A safe Fall/Winter training program!
NASM Certified Personal Trainer *NASM Youth Exercise Specialist * Spartan Obstacle Specialist CrossFit Level 1 & 2 – Level 3 reading * CrossFit Gymnastics * Mobility WOD 101 & 102 POSE Run Method * Mobility WOD Performance Specialist * Spartan SGX Coach *TRX * USA Weightlifting
(1) Mayo Clinic; Frostbite. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/frostbite/symptoms-causes/syc-20372656