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Active in NWI: Working Out, Outside

Baby, it’s cold outside. But it doesn’t keep us away. You’ll see people out and about getting their exercise in any way they know how. And that’s great, but there are steps that you can take to make sure that you stay safe in these chilly months.

1. Be aware of the symptoms of frostbite. Being outside for too long in the cold can have obvious negative effect, the most obvious being frostbite. What happens is that skin freezes. Your extremities will turn pale or a light blue, and they might ache or sting. Noses, fingers, toes, chin, and cheeks are typically the parts of the body which experience frostbite the most. Wear hats, gloves, thick socks, scarves, and don’t stay out for too long.

2. Watch out for symptoms of hypothermia. Hypothermia occurs when our core body temperature drops below 95 degrees Fahrenheit, and that’s not hard to do in the weird Indiana weather. Inability move easily, fumbling hands, shivering, foggy thinking, exhaustion, memory loss, drowsiness, slurred speech, pain in the extremities, weak pulse, unconsciousness are some of the symptoms of hypothermia. If you experience any of these symptoms, get inside and call your doctor immediately.


3. Dress in layers. One day it might be 60 degrees, the next might only make it up to 30 degrees. Wearing multiple layers will enable you to take something off if you get hot, and put it back on if you get cold. At the same time, don’t dress too warmly. It’s possible to overheat in the wintertime. Also, having a water-resistant layer is helpful to keep water from soaking into your clothes. Checking the weather beforehand will help you determine what to wear.

4. Cover your extremities. It’s already been said, but it’s important enough to repeat. When it’s cold, your body concentrates blood flow to heat your core. This can leave hands, feet, and faces vulnerable. Wear a hat to retain body heat that could be otherwise lost, wear gloves, wear thick socks and waterproof boots (unless you’re running, then wear special winter running shoes – they do exist).

5. Stay hydrated. You can become hydrated in any type of weather, not just when it’s hot. Drink up, folks.

6. Wear proper gear. It gets dark early in the winter, so wear brightly colored clothing and running lights to make sure you are seen. Whatever shoes you have on, make sure they have good traction so that they won’t slip on the ice, and good insulation to keep your tootsies warm.

7. Wear sunscreen, because the sun still shines in the winter. It’s brighter with the white snow reflecting the sun so be sure to wear sunglasses.

IU Health La Porte Hospital
1007 Lincolnway
LaPorte, IN 46350
1 - 800 - 235 - 6204
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