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Is working out in cold weather safe?

Possible health risks of exercising when cold
Posted at 5:14 PM, Oct 30, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-30 21:52:20-04

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Freezing temperatures are coming to the valley, and that adds risk to your outdoor workout.

While it's safe for almost everyone to exercise even when it's cold, some people need to check with their doctor first before putting those workout sneakers on.

"If you have underlying heart disease, especially coronary heart disease or other vascular diseases, you're at an increased risk because your blood vessels are already constricted, and getting into the severe cold can constrict it more," said Dr. Jonathan Baktari, of e7 Health.

Baktari also said it compares what happens to your blood vessels when it's cold to stepping on a garden hose while watering plants.

"You then go in the cold, and you constrict it even more. You essentially put your foot even further down, and then at that point, it's not enough water to feed the plant or not enough blood flow from the coronaries of the heart, " Baktari said.

If you also have a history of asthma, you're putting yourself at risk for increased discomfort or injury, according to the doctor.

"A lot of people have triggers for what causes an asthma attack. So they have underlying asthma, but certain things can trigger an attack. For a lot of people, cold weather and exercise can be a trigger for their asthma," Baktari said.

So before hitting the pavement, if you're at all concerned, get a workout, a detailed workup, and know your risks.

But even if you're healthy, when it gets freezing, our bodies overcompensate to perform tasks.

That means our muscles and tendons tighten up and become less flexible, which can lead to muscle soreness or strains.

So take that extra time to warm up before exercising - doctors orders.