With days gone shorter and colder, it’s hard to find the motivation to go outside, much less exercise in cold weather. However, if you decide to trek outdoors, keep these points in mind:
- Check the weather
First things first, the weather. Check the forecast for the day before you head out – temperature, wind, and even moisture. It’s generally not advisable to exercise outside when the temperature goes down below 0°F. Wind chill below -18°F can also cause frostbite.
If there’s rain or extreme cold in the forecast, consider an indoors exercise for the day. You can get hypothermia faster with wet skin since the body may not be able to keep your core body temperature warm enough.
- Dress appropriately
It’s important to put on at least three layers of clothing before exercising outside.
First layer should be made from a lightweight synthetic material that keeps moisture away from your skin. Do not put on a cotton shirt for the first layer! Next layer will be your insulation, and this can be made from wool of fleece. Depending on the temperature and your preference, you can double up on your second layer. Last layer would be a breathable, waterproof, and water-resistant material.
You may also want to put on a hat, a pair of gloves, and a scarf or mask especially if the weather is a bit colder. Make sure you have a durable pair of shoes with good traction, and of course, warm socks.
Dress warm, but don’t overdress.
- Warm up, cool down, hydrate
Always incorporate warm-up and cool-down routines before and after you exercise outside in cold weather. Doing so will prevent injuries.
A proper warm up will also ensure that your internal body temperature is kept high enough. A cool down will help relax tense muscles caused by the cold outside. And make sure you drink up – before, during, and after exercising in cold weather.
- Stay safe
Make sure you have someone who knows your route and the time you expect to be back, just in case something happens. Better yet, find a cold weather exercise partner.
- Health concerns
Unfortunately, exercising in cold weather is not for everyone. People with asthma, heart conditions, exercise-induced bronchitis, and Raynaud’s disease must first seek the advice of a medical doctor before considering a winter run.
- Have fun!
Enjoy the outdoors. See the beauty of winter wonderland while keeping fit. Endorphins are produced as your body works to keep warm, so you end up happier and more energized.
If you have questions or other concerns about exercising in cold weather, drop us a line, we’re glad to help. We know you don’t want to be cooped up inside all winter long!