Cold Weather Exercise: 7 Tips
Posted by Caitlin Norton
The seasons are changing and with cold weather just around the corner, it’s a concern for those of us who have enjoyed exercising outside all summer long. Not to worry though, if you take certain precautions you won’t have to be stuck inside a gym all winter long. My cold weather exercise tips will keep you warm and safe until Spring comes…
Check the Weather Forecast
Most of us have a weather app on our phones, so use it to check the air temperature and wind chill factor before exercising in the cold. Typically, there’s little risk when exercising in cold weather, unless the combined temperature and windchill fall below -20°F.
Be sure to wear layers because they help manage the combination of cold air, body heat and sweat. When you start to perspire, just remove a layer. You can add it back if you get cold again.
It’s important to stay hydrated 365 days a year when exercising –even in cold weather. So don’t forget to drink water before, during and after your workout.
Hats and Gloves Help
Did you know that 50% of body heat is lost from an uncovered head when the temperatures hit the freezing mark? Did you also know that gloves help prevent skin damage and frostbite in sub-zero temperatures? So don’t forget to wear those two accessories when exercising in cold weather.
Avoid Heavy Cotton
No one wants to freeze in their own sweat. As gross as that sounds, that’s what heavy cotton does: hold onto your sweat and makes you feel colder. Instead, wear wool, polyester and other moisture-wicking fabrics.
Grab a Buddy
Nothing works better for cold weather exercise motivation than having someone else to hold you accountable. So find an exercise buddy to help keep you on track.
Know When to Take it Inside
As previously noted, if the combined temperature and windchill fall below -20°F, it’s not safe to exercise outside. Better to take your workout indoors, than to risk hypothermia.
*A bonus tip: If you’re interested in joining a gym, do it in the fall when membership dues are still relatively cheap. Gyms hike their dues closer to the New Year, when people join en masse to take off the holiday weight and make resolutions. You can even freeze your dues to a lower rate at most gyms, until you’re ready to fully use your membership.