Skip to main content

How to Take Your Workout Outside – Even in Cold Weather

Yes, it is cold outside, but that is not an excuse not to get some  fresh air.  Hope Choplin, exercise specialist with WakeMed Healthworks, provided the following tips for exercising during cold weather.

Here are some general tips for exercising OUTSIDE during cold weather:

  • Take wind chill factor into account!  It is safe for MOST people to exercise outside if the air temperature, including the wind chill, is greater than -25 degrees F.  Check your local weather to determine the wind chill before exercising.
  • Warm-up: The warm-up is always a crucial part of the workout, but this is especially true in cold weather.  Take a few minutes to warm muscles inside before heading out into the cold.
  • Avoid Overdressing.  Our bodies produce heat during exercise and can overheat if too much is worn.  Wear 2-3 layers of lightweight, loose fitting clothing that can be easily adjusted to regulate temperature.  The inner most layer should be a thin layer that “wicks” perspiration away from the skin.  The second layer should be an insulating layer (Polar fleece, wool, etc.).  The outer layer should be windproof and water-repellant.
  • Wear a hat and gloves to protect heat loss from the head or hands.
  • Pay attention to your body! If something doesn’t feel right, or you feel too cold, head inside.

Can’t take the cold.  Keep your workout INDOORS.

  • If you are not familiar with equipment in a gym, set up an appointment with a fitness specialist who can show you how to use each piece.  Using equipment improperly is unsafe.
  • Dress appropriately – some gyms may be hot during this time of year, while others may be colder than usual.  Bring layers that can be added or removed based on temperature.
  • If you want to exercise at home, check your local library for exercise DVDs.  This keeps you from having to buy expensive DVDs, and you can exchange them often to add variety to your work-out.