• Exercising Outside? Keep These Safety Tips in Mind During Cold Temps

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    January 10, 2019
    For Immediate Release
    January 10, 2019
    Exercising Outside? Keep These Safety Tips in Mind During Cold Temps
    MIDLAND, Mich. – While this winter has been mild in comparison to past seasons, Michigan winter months are often long, cold and the frigid temperatures can discourage even the most motivated exercisers. Yet, whether exercising outside, playing your favorite winter sport, or taking time to build a snowman, it is important to follow some cold weather precautions.
    MidMichigan Health offers these safety reminders when heading out into the cold temperatures:
    1. Protect the head, hands, feet and ears. It is important to watch weather forecasts and look at the wind chill factors prior to heading outdoors. Wind chill levels below -18 can cause frostbite to exposed areas of skin in 30 minutes or less.
    2. Dress in layers. One of the biggest mistakes when exercising in cold weather is dressing too warmly. Layers should be removed as soon as sweating begins and should be put back on as needed. The bottom layer should be a thin synthetic material that will draw moisture away from the body. Avoid cotton because it will hold the moisture next to the skin. The next layer should be a fleece or wool for insulation. On top, a waterproof layer should be worn.
    3. Drink plenty of water. Dehydration can occur just as easily during the winter as it can in the summer. Drink water before, during and after a workout. 
    4. Avoid injury. Sometimes the winter months can cause slippery conditions and shorter days may result in exercising in the dark. Reflective clothing should be worn if there is a chance it will get dark during the workout time. In addition, choose footwear with enough traction to prevent falls.
    5. Don’t forget the sunscreen. It is just as easy to get sunburn in the winter as it is the summer. Wear sunscreen to prevent sunburns if exercise is being done in the snow or at high altitudes.
    Exercise is safe for almost everyone, even in cold weather. Individuals who have conditions such as asthma, heart problems or Raynaud’s disease should check with their health care provider first to review special precautions they
    should take.

    MidMichigan Health is a non-profit health system, headquartered in Midland, Michigan, affiliated with Michigan Medicine, the health care division of the University of Michigan. MidMichigan Health covers a 23-county region with medical centers in Midland, Alpena, Alma, Clare, Gladwin, Mt. Pleasant and West Branch. In addition to its Medical Centers, MidMichigan Health also offers both home health care and physician services, and has a strong commitment to medical education. MidMichigan Physicians Group provides urgent care and medical offices in more than 30 specialties and subspecialties including cardiology, hematology/oncology, orthopedics, vascular surgery, family medicine and more. The MidMichigan Health Foundation supports patients and families served by MidMichigan Health by raising funds for equipment, services and programs. Currently, MidMichigan has more than 7,800 employees, volunteers and physicians and provided $90 million in community benefits in fiscal year 2017.
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    Millie Jezior, Public Relations Manager
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