People from North Dakota or Minnesota may laugh at Atlanta's winter lows of 35, but not everyone has a high tolerance for cooler temperatures. Recent studies of athletes' performance in the cold found that tolerance depends on genetics, subcutaneous fat levels, and body size. People with a low BMI and small body size are more likely to feel the cold.
Low cold tolerance is no excuse for not exercising when temperatures drop. In fact, exercising in the cold has been found to strengthen immune systems, help with weight loss, and develop better cardiac health. Don't let colder temperatures in Peachtree City, Newman, or Fayetteville interrupt a daily walk. Just use the following tips to stay healthy and warm.
If it looks like rain, carry an umbrella or wear protective clothing. On the rare occasions that Georgia experiences snow, walkers should wear hats, gloves, and warm shoes. Although folk wisdom says that humans can lose up to 50% of their body heat through an uncovered head, the truth is only 10% escapes. How much body heat escapes depends on how much skin is exposed to the cold. That's why hats, gloves, and scarves are recommended to reduce facial exposure.
Layering is a great way to control body temperature when exercising outdoors in Atlanta. The Centers for Disease Control recommend the following layers for maximum warmth:
- First Layer. Fabrics that hold in body heat and don't absorb moisture are best placed next to the skin. Wool, silk, and polypropylene are better than cotton for retaining body heat.
- Second Layer. This is the insulation layer that retains heat by trapping air. Choose clothes made from natural fibers such as goose down, fleece, or wool.
- Third Layer. The external layer should protect against wind, rain, or snow. It should be waterproof and wind resistant to retain heat.
Layers allow seniors to adjust their clothing to prevent overheating. Removing layers reduces excessive sweating, which causes the body to lose more heat. Finding the right balance is key to a comfortable walk.
Wear Appropriate Footwear
Inappropriate footwear can lead to walking mishaps in Peachtree City as well as reducing body temperature. Boots or shoes should have soles designed to grip wet and icy surfaces. They should be water-resistant to keep melting snow and ice from seeping through. Walking in damp socks is not only uncomfortable, but they pull heat away from the body.
Wear Hats, Gloves, and Scarves
Hats should cover as much exposed skin as possible without restricting vision. Seniors with hearing loss may need to use hats that do not reduce surrounding audio. Scarves keep the neck warm. They keep heat in and protect against wind chill in Newman and Fayetteville.
Gloves or mittens? Mittens are recommended for maximum warmth; however, they can be bulky and restrict hand movements. Seniors may find gloves are a safer option when manual dexterity is reduced.
Do Your Daily Walk with Senior Helpers
Walks are good for both physical and mental health. Seniors may find a drop in temperature or inclement weather a reason to stay indoors. Having a walking companion can ensure that walks happen. Senior Helpers from Atlanta's South Metro area, including Peachtree City, Newman, and Fayetteville, provides in-home care for seniors. Contact us for more information today!