Cold Weather Health Hazards
1. Did you know…?
Scientific studies indicate that up to 50% of athletes who exercise in cold weather have some respiratory symptoms with a decline in lung function compatible with exercise-induced asthma (Storms W. Review of Exercise-Induced Asthma, Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 2003; 35:1464-1470).
2. Did you know…?
Cold weather exposure of the airway and face is a form of chronic trauma that can cause cough, asthma, and other adverse health effects such as “walking pneumonia.” A counter measure for decreasing the occurrence of these health problems in cold weather is to increase warmth and moisture of the airway without increasing resistance when working breathing rates are high (Prevention of Cold Injuries During Exercise, Position Stand, American College of Sports Medicine, Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 2006; 38:2012-2029).
3. Did you know…?
Cold weather combined with long periods of work outside can alter the immune system, increasing the risk for viral infections of the respiratory tract that negatively affects performance while increasing sick days.
4. Did you know…?
In addition to cold air affecting the airways, stimulation of the facial skin by cold air has an effect on airway responsiveness (Heindl S.et al. “Effect of Facial Cooling and Cold Air Inhalation on Sympathetic Nerve Activity in Men,” Respiratory Physiology and Neurobiology, 2004; 142:69-8).
5. Did you know…?
The American College of Sports Medicine’s position on prevention of cold airway injuries during exercise states that breathing dry air combined with skin and facial cooling act in synergy to trigger exercised-induced bronchospasms (Prevention of Cold Injuries During Exercise, Position Stand, American College of Sports Medicine, Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 2006;38:2012-2029).
6. Did you know…?
Chronic cold air exposure following exercise can predispose athletes to immunological vulnerability and viral infections that can negatively affect their performance.