(SAVANNAH) People who are sticking to the resolution to improve physical fitness in the New Year are urged to remember that outdoor activity in colder temperatures requires some precaution. Dr. John Rowlett, an emergency room physician with St. Joseph/Candler, says thermal injuries can occur a lot faster than people realize when the conditions are ripe.
Age is another factor for those at the most risk of a cold weather injury related to outdoor physical activity when temperatures drop below freezing. ” Younger persons or older persons with significant cold, particularly if there’s any moisture involved, so if the skin is wet or if their gloves are wet or so forth, can get an injury in a matter of a few minutes.” Dr. Rowlett adds that the risk is a lot lower in the Hostess City than points north. “. Around here, again, because it doesn’t get that cold it’s unlikely that we’re gonna see frostbite or frost-nip from things around here, but it is possible.” Rowlett said.
The National Athletic Trainer’s Association suggests anyone who exercises outdoors in the cold should try reduce the amount of skin that is exposed to the elements. The NATA recommends dressing laying to help your body adjust to the weather conditions and changes in your body temperature while outdoors in the cold. Dr. Rowlett says it may also be necessary to take breaks and he stresses the importance of a good warm up before beginning increased activity outdoors when it’s cold. He adds that those breaks are even more important for children and for those over age 50 because those age groups have less tolerance for cold temperatures.