Although we have a winter storm on the horizon, we also happen to have 50 degree temperatures in the 10-day outlook. With increasing temperatures comes the long awaited return to outdoor exercise. So joggers get ready to lace up, tennis players ready your rackets, baseball enthusiasts inspect your gloves and bats, avid golfers inspect those clubs because soon you’ll return to the greens.
I was privileged to attend this past weekend, at the OSU Fawcett Center, the National Weather Service severe weather spotter training. As a Franklin County Emergency Management, siren watch volunteer and community emergency response team (CERT) member, this additional training helps me to be better prepared for and help the community quickly recover from weather or other emergencies.
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), lightning is one of the leading weather-related causes of death and injury in the U.S. Did you know that you can be struck by a lightning bolt even if the center of a thunderstorm is 10 miles away and skies are clear above you? This is because lightning is a discharge of electricity followed by atmospheric disturbance heard as thunder. In 2012, 15 persons were hospitalized after lightning struck the greens of the Lake of Isles golf course in North Stonington, Connecticut.
Granted, golf is an excellent source of cardiovascular low-impact exercise, due to walking for miles on a course, strength training to improve a swing, and promotes balance from the core. But carrying around metal clubs can present a clear danger during pop-up storms. So, what can you do to keep yourself safe from lightening during storms?
- Be informed of changing weather conditions. You can purchase NOAA approved portable weather radios to use while participating in outdoor activities.
- Have an alternative backup plan so that you can suspend outdoor exercise if necessary (i.e., if you can’t make a full 5 mile jog or walk because the weather turns inclement take a rapid walk on a treadmill or while window-shopping indoors at a shopping mall.)
- Stay away from windows and doors and avoid contact with anything that conducts electricity (yes this includes your I-Phone while outdoors or even your landline phone indoors).
With these tips in mind you can exercise safely out of doors and be better prepared for changing Central Ohio weather conditions. Until next time – good health to you!