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Polar Vortex Is No Excuse to Skip Outdoor Exercise

from TIME

Michael Bracko loves to work out in the cold. The Canadian exercise physiologist (and an American College of Sports Medicine fellow) loves the feeling of cold air on his face and the sound of snow crunching under his running shoes. In fact, he has no problem going for a run when it’s 30 degrees below zero. He did it just a couple weeks ago in Calgary, Canada.

"As far as the temperature goes, if you are just warm enough and you are used to exercising, there is no temperature you can't work out in," he says.

That is, as long as you're properly dressed. Exercising in the cold does come with some potential dangers. Below freezing temperatures mean higher risk of hypothermia, so it's important to cover the most vulnerable body parts, like the tips of fingers and toes, and your nose and ear lobes. In the cold, the body has to work harder to keep blood flowing to these appendages, since the smallest vessels in the extremities tend to constrict in order to keep blood in the body's core for warmth. "Your fingers get so cold that they are so sore, red and swollen," says Bracko. "The problem that can arise is that this can lead to a numbness, and the individual may not notice how cold they’re getting. more

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