Cold Weather Exercise Tips

It’s important to maintain a healthy lifestyle all year round, but this becomes increasingly difficult for many during the cold winter months. To ensure that you stay warm during your outdoor activities, it is important to be smart and dress appropriately. Whether you are going to be running, biking, skiing, or just walking the dog. To help make sure you are prepared for your cold-weather workout, we have put together a top 10 checklist to make sure you are prepared. 

1. Avoid overdressing: You should feel a slight chill off your body the first 5 minutes of your winter workout; after that, you should warm-up. 

2. Dress in layers: It is important to start with a thin layer of synthetic material such as polypropylene, which wicks sweat away from your body. Stay away from cotton as a base layer as it holds moisture and will keep you wet. If it is very cold out, you will need a middle layer, such as polar fleece, for added insulation. 

3. Protect your head: It is estimated that 40% of body heat is lost through your head. Wearing a hat that will help prevent heat loss is very important. 

4. Protect your hands and feet: It is estimated that as much as 30% of your body heat escapes through your hands and feet. 

5. Do not stay in wet clothes: If you get wet from rain, snow, or even from sweat in chilly temperatures, you are at risk for hypothermia. You should change your wet clothing immediately. 

6. Stay hydratedDespite the cool weather, you will still heat up and lose fluids through sweat. Cool air also has a drying effect, which can increase the risk of dehydration. Make sure you drink water or sports drinks before, during, and after a run. 

7. Remember sunscreen: Sunburn is still possible in the winter. It is also important to protect your lips with lip balm. 

8. Take it easy when it is frigid: The colder the temperature becomes, the greater your risk for a pulled muscle when exercising outside. Make sure you warm up slowly and take it easy on very cold days.  

9. Pay attention to temperature and wind chill: If the temperature drops below zero F or the wind chill is below -20F, you should exercise indoors. 

10. Run into the wind: If at all possible, head out into the wind. This makes sure that as you return, the wind is at your back when you are sweaty.  We hope you enjoy your winter workouts! If you start to feel pain outside of usual soreness, please don’t hesitate to reach out and schedule an appointment.

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