As the weather gets colder, people who exercise outdoors need to take proper precautions to warm up their bodies and prevent injury.

“When the weather is this bad, people have pretty much got to train inside. So take advantage of all of the classes and all of the stuff that you can’t do when you’re outside, like all of the equipment in the gym. Try new things,” personal trainer Clayton Earthman said.

“The high intensity training is what I would recommend. Most people do all straight cardio where they run and get on the machines because it is the simplest. A lot of people don’t ever realize all the exercises that they could do with very little equipment. You have to keep the body guessing. If you do the same thing the body adapts and the results slow to a halt,” he said.

If a person does choose to train outside during cold weather it is important to eat before doing any exercising, he said, noting that without any calories in the body’s system it might react differently and have a harder time trying to stay warm. It’s also important to dress properly.

“Getting warmed up before you go out there to work out is important. I trained a guy yesterday who said he never stretches, he just runs for five minutes and then goes does everything. That may work in warm weather but in cold weather it will lock your muscles and joints up and everything runs slower,” Earthman said. “Warm up in the house, run in place, do jumping jacks and get stretched out before working out.”

Personal trainer Daniel Ortiz, who, like Earthman, works out of the Lord’s Gym in Waxahachie, said people need to be smart about training.

“It is great to train hard core but it’s better to train smart especially for the weekend warriors. By that I mean people who don’t really train constantly and go out there and say, ‘I’m going to go run outside. I used to run all the time when it was cold back in the day.’ It is not back in the day,” Ortiz said.

“They need to take into consideration the temperature, their calorie intake and the fact they are not the age they used to be nor are they training on a constant basis,” he said. “Train hard, train safe and smart. That is the best way to train.”

According to the staff at the Mayo Clinic, one of the biggest mistakes that a person training in cold weather can make is to dress too warmly. Exercising generates a lot of heat, which will make a person feel like it’s much warmer than it really is. Once sweat starts to dry, a person will get chilled. The solution is to dress in layers.

“Dress in layers that you can remove as soon as you start to sweat and then put back on as needed. First, put on a thin layer of synthetic material, such as polypropylene, which draws sweat away from your body. Avoid cotton, which stays wet next to your skin. Next, add a layer of fleece or wool for insulation,” the clinic’s website advises, adding, “Top this with a waterproof, breathable outer layer (because a) heavy down jacket or vest may cause you to overheat if you’re exercising hard. If you’re lean, you may need more insulation than someone who is heavier. If it’s very cold, consider wearing a face mask or scarf to warm the air before it enters your lungs.”

The Mayo Clinic also notes that exercising when it’s cold and raining can make a person more vulnerable to catching a cold. If a person gets soaked, he or she may not be able to keep his or her core body temperature high enough – and layering won’t help if one’s clothes are wet. If it’s extremely cold, exercise indoors or skip it for a day or two.

Colder weather is not the time to skip staying hydrated before, during and after working out.

Working out outside in cold weather presents its own set of dangers. If precautions are not taken a person might be susceptible to the effects of frostbite. Symptoms of frostbite include numbness in the extremities, toes and fingers. A person who is unable to feel his or her fingers or toes should move into a warmer area. If frostbite sets in, call 9-1-1 immediately for assistance.

Ortiz and Earthman are offering a boot camp fitness class at the Lord’s Gym. The camp – offered at the beginner and advanced levels – will have 12 sessions featuring resistance training, cardiovascular training and other activities. Signups are under way at a cost of $200.

For more information, call 469-235-4410 or 972-935-0760.

For additional information, e-mail Ortiz at Daniel@daofsff.com or visit www.daofsff.com.

Contact Andrew at andrew.branca@wninews.com or 469-517-1458.