Share cold weather exercise tips, benefits and examples of cold weather workouts.
Hi friends! How is the morning going so far? I hope you have a wonderful day. I’m doing a quick Fit Team workout and getting ready for some company out of town; I can not wait! I’m also going to take Maisey for a long walk because the weather has been dreeeeamy.
Even though the weather is starting to cool down, I thought about each other how important it is to keep up with a consistent routine regardless of the season. Cold weather can discourage us from exercising, especially since it’s dark and it can be very tempting to stay huddled under the covers. It can absolutely be a challenge to get up and go outside to exercise, or to the gym, and finding the right motivation and routine can help you stay focused on your goals. Today I’m sharing some practical tips on how to stay warm and injury free while exercising in the cold weather!
10 tips for exercising in cold weather
Can you exercise in cold weather?
You absolutely can, but it depends on your fitness level and whether you are used to the current climate. If you’re like me in Arizona and traveling to Alaska in the freezing snow, it might be a little more difficult to keep up with your outdoor exercise routine. Of course, check with your doctor before making any fitness changes, and talk to your health provider if you have certain conditions that may prevent you from exercising outdoors.
A few tips that may help:
Dress in layers
I like to layer my clothes, especially since the temperature varies so much. You can start with a jacket, long sleeve t-shirt and tank, and end up in just your tank by the time the workout is over. You can also wear high socks if you don’t want to start with pants. I feel that layering is something you learn over time, especially what kind of fabric and covering you prefer, and also how the weather behaves where you are. In Tucson, it’s winter at 5 a.m., spring at 10 a.m., summer at 2 p.m., back to spring at 5 p.m., and winter again by 8 p.m.
Even if you’re cold, you can forget that being outside still exposes you to the sun’s rays. Wear sunscreen on any areas that are likely to burn, especially if you’ve been out for a while. I wear this SPF on my face every day.
The same goes with water! In the winter, it’s easier to get dehydrated because we sweat and the heat doesn’t remind us to drink water. Make sure you carry some kind of water with you, and if you’re going to do a challenging or longer workout (more than 1 hour), I recommend adding some electrolytes.
Wear the right outfit
Extra goods, such as an ear warmer, thermal leggings and gloves can make a big difference. You may also need to add an extra moisture barrier to your face (like a facial moisturizer), and lip balm if the air is dry and icy.
Warm up and cool down
Warming up before your workout can help increase tissue temperature, prepare the body for movement, and get your mindset into the game. Take the time to cool down after your workout, so the body temperature and heart rate drop.
Wear good shoes
*Good* does not mean expensive. Make sure your shoes fit well and are suitable for the type of activity you will be doing. I highly recommend visiting a running store to have your gait checked by a professional. They can recommend shoes based on your specific workouts and whether you have pronation or supination.
Learn the signs of hypothermia and frostbite
Watch for any signs from your body that it’s too damn cold, or you’re not adequately dressed for the weather. Tremors, slurred speech, exhaustion, confusion and memory loss are major red flags. Also watch for numbness in your limbs and a body temperature below 95 degrees. Hypothermia is a medical emergency. Call 911 and get help right away.
Stay within your levels
Don’t push yourself into new weather or terrain, or think you can maintain your full workout without easing up. For example, if you usually run for an hour when it’s sunny, try a 20-minute run in the cold and see how you feel. Increase the duration over time. Don’t be afraid to take your workout inside!
Have ID and a method to contact someone
When doing any kind of outdoor exercise, be sure to bring ID and a method of contacting someone, such as a satellite watch or cell phone.
Even better: exercise with a partner
I definitely prefer outdoor workouts with friends. This way you can make sure that everyone stays safe too.
Most importantly, don’t be afraid to take your workout inside if the weather is too extreme or out of your comfort level!
Benefits of exercising in cold weather
Cold weather can help boost your immune system
When your body adapts to colder temperatures, it can make your immune system stronger.
This can potentially increase calorie burning
According to this study, exercising in the cold can burn more calories than exercising in warmer temperatures.
It can be a mood booster!
Moving our body in any capacity can release endorphins, giving us those feel-good warm fuzzies, which are extra appreciated during the dark months, when we’re more prone to seasonal affective disorder.
You can train your body in a different way
When the weather changes, it provides new opportunities to exercise in a different capacity. You may find that you enjoy certain activities more when the weather cools down! For example, I like hiking, but I like it a lot more when it’s not 100 degrees.
Cold Weather Exercises
Here are some bodyweight workouts you can do outside (or indoors!) this winter!
Strength and power total body workout
How to train for a half marathon while strength training
So tell my friends: do you exercise outside when it’s cold?
What is a fitness struggle you experience over the winter months?