As the days get shorter and temperatures dip, exercising outside may require a few more layers to stay comfortable and safe. There are many benefits to working out outside, even in chilly weather, but it is important to keep safety in mind. Here are a few tips to help you stay warm while exercising in cold weather:
- Layer up – While it may feel cold when you first step outside, your body will quickly warm up as you begin moving, and you will soon realize the parka you thought you needed is a bit much. Instead, dress in multiple layers. Start with a thin, moisture-wicking material, followed by an insulated fleece layer and, finally, top off your outfit with a waterproof jacket or vest. This approach will allow you to strip off layers as you get warm, while helping to avoid feeling chilled as you sweat!
- Add a hat and gloves – You lose a lot of heat through your head, so it’s important to keep it covered to help you stay warm. And gloves will protect your hands against frostbite.
- Check the weather – Even though exercising in the cold is beneficial, it’s still important to understand exactly how cold it will be and be aware of the potential for snow or ice. Be sure to dress according to the forecast, but if the weather is extreme, safety should be your priority when deciding whether to work out indoors or out.
- Keep health in mind – Most people can exercise in cold weather without any health concerns; however, if you have asthma or a heart condition, make sure to talk with your doctor first to ensure it is safe. Additionally, it’s important to understand the warning signs of frostbite and hypothermia so you can quickly take action if needed.
- Stay hydrated and protected – It may not be as intuitive in colder months, but it is still critical to stay hydrated. You may not realize you are thirsty as quickly, but you are still sweating. Also, use sunscreen! The sun can be just as strong, especially if reflected off snow.
- Be smart when working out in the dark – Take steps to stay safe when working out in the early morning or evening.
You can have a great workout outside in the cold. Just make sure to use your best judgment and take a few safety measures to ensure you have a safe and comfortable workout.
How Health Advocate Can Help
If you are a Health Advocate member with access to our Wellness Coaching program, talk to your coach about how to safely incorporate more exercise into your routine, no matter what the weather.