Wellness for the Family: Winter Workout Safety

Winter workouts in northern Michigan can be slippery and cold, so knowing how to stay safe should be an important part of your preparation.

Michelle Dunaway was back with registered dietitian Grace Derocha of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan to get some tips and tricks to winter workout safety.

Here is her rundown of advice:

  • Prepare for the cold. Before you walk out the door, make sure you take the necessary precautions. Know the weather and dress accordingly to avoid frostbite. Wear sunscreen to protect against UV rays and drink plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration.
  • Wear the right shoes. Shoes that are insulated and have a rubber bottom are ideal for slippery conditions. As you walk outside in your rubber-bottom shoes, take smaller steps- it will reduce your risk of falls. To help prevent the buildup of snow and ice, spread deicer around the sidewalks and driveways before, during or after a snowfall.
  • Know the differences in ice strengths. If you plan to take advantage of ice to go ice skating or play hockey on a backyard pond, make sure it’s safe. According to the DNR, fresh, clear ice with a blueish tint is the strongest. The DNR warns that ice under snow is almost always weaker than exposed ice. Avoid patches covered in snow and/or slush; that is a sign the ice is no longer freezing. Most importantly, proceed with caution. Ice can change thickness and strength quickly.
  • Wear a helmet when sledding, skiing or snowboarding. Winter sports usually involve sliding down a slippery slope. To avoid head injuries, be sure to wear a helmet as you slide down the hill.
  • Pick a safe spot to work out. If the winter activity involves sliding or skating, make sure the area is free of obstacles that may cause injury. Fences, trees, and poles all pose dangers to the individual working out.

Plus she gave us some tips on when to know if it’s time to head indoors.

  • Lack of coordination
  • Mental confusion
  • Slowed reactions
  • Slurred speech
  • Cold feet and hands
  • Shivering
  • Sleepiness

To see more from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, click here.

Categories: the four, Wellness for the Family