Outdoor activities during the winter months can be amazing. There are, however, some challenges unique to this time of year. Here are some tips to keep you safe when it’s cold.

Cover Up

Your hands, feet and ears are most susceptible to frostbite, so use gloves, heavy socks and a hat to keep warm.

Layer Up

You want to have enough layers to stay warm, but your body will produce a lot of heat while exercising, so you may need to shed a layer. For team sports, such as soccer and football, it may be wise to wear a heavy coat while on the sidelines, then shed it when you are in the game.

Warm Up

Dynamic warm-up is always important, but especially in the winter. It’s going to take you a little longer to get your body temperature up during the cold weather.

Hydrate

You may not feel as thirsty on a cold day, but hydration is just as important in the cold. Drink water before and after exercise, and during if you can.

Stay Dry

It’s harder to keep warm if you are wet, and if it’s also windy, it can be downright miserable. Consider a waterproof layer, including jacket (with hood), pants, gloves, and shoes.

Use Safety Gear

Wear a helmet for activities such as skiing, snowboarding, snowmobiling and biking. Runners may encounter slippery conditions, so consider trail shoes or other footwear that has more traction. Consider staying indoors if conditions are extremely icy. If the weather is clear, protect your eyes with sunglasses and your skin with sunscreen. It can be very bright when the sun is reflecting off the winter snow!

Short days and cloudy weather may reduce visibility for runners and cyclists. Headlamps or flashlights will help you to see better as well as be seen. Reflective clothing and taillights also help others be aware of you.