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How to safely enjoy the outdoors during the coldest days of winter

If you want to beat the cold, avoid the late evening and early morning hours and try to get outdoors near the daytime high temperature in the afternoon.
Credit: WTOL

TOLEDO, Ohio — Despite the lack of snow, the coldest days of winter have arrived and the wind chill has felt bitter this month. 

Even in a warming world with climate change, cold weather will continue to impact the region during the winter. Despite the frigid feel, many of you still regularly enjoy time outdoors. Outdoor recreation is essential for your mental and physical health during the cold months and is a proven way to fight the winter blues. 

But how cold is too cold to be safe? In today’s Climate Friday Newsletter, we’ll answer that question, providing safety tips for outdoor activity during the winter.

If you want to beat the cold, avoid the late evening and early morning hours and try to get outdoors near the daytime high temperature in the afternoon. While the temperature is important, the wind chill is a more representative measure of how cold it will feel outside; you should dress for the “feels like” temperature. 

Credit: WTOL

Speaking of dressing, layering up will keep you warm even on the coldest days. Wear moisture-wicking fabrics that retain heat even when wet. Cotton may be great in the warmer months, but wool will serve you better in the winter cold. 

Wear a windproof jacket, and make sure it’s reflective and bright if you’ll be out at dawn or dusk.

Winter sports, like snowboarding, skiing, running, and biking are popular ways to beat the winter blues. Some winter athletes use a face and neck covering to warm their skin and heat the oxygen they breathe in. 

If you’re planning on heading out near sunrise or sunset, wear a headlamp to make yourself visible to cars. Most importantly, carry your cell phone in case of an emergency and tell a friend where you’re going and when you’ll be back. 

Credit: WTOL

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and while these precautious may seem tedious, they are especially important in the arctic cold.

While winter started off mild in December, it turned sharply colder in January. Bitter days with frigid feeling wind chills are inevitable, but you don’t have to let the weather keep you cooped up inside. 

Follow these simple tips to stay safe in the winter cold, download the WTOL 11 weather app for the latest 10-day forecast, and stay tuned as the WTOL 11 weather team prepares you for the cold days to come!