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Exercising during the winter

Dec 15, 2020

With winter right around the corner, it's time to start prepping for the cold weather. Part of the preparation includes figuring out how to stay active.

Just because the temperatures drop doesn’t mean you have to give up on exercise. There are some great benefits to working out in the cold.

  1. No heat and humidity. The cold weather may even have you feeling more awake!

  2. You may be able to workout longer. Which can help you burn more calories.

  3. Exercise boosts your immunity during cold and flu season. Just a few minutes a day can help prevent simple bacterial and viral infections, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

During the winter, finding activities can sometimes be tough. The good news is, there are a lot more than you probably think!

  • Brisk walking or hiking

  • Shoveling

  • Snowshoeing

  • Ski or snowboarding

  • Sledding

  • Ice Skating

  • Raking leaves (If no snow is present)


Stay Safe

One thing to be mindful of when exercising in the cold is hypothermia. This is when the body's temperature has dropped below 95 degrees fahrenheit or 35 degrees celsius. It occurs when the body can’t produce enough energy to keep the internal body temperature warm enough.

Symptoms can include:

  • lack of coordination

  • mental confusion

  • slowed reactions

  • slurred speech

  • cold feet and hands

  • shivering

  • sleepiness

When exercising in the cold, it's important to make sure you have the right workout attire for the occasion. Layering yourself up will work as an insulator to help keep you warm and help you workout longer. One piece of advice here is to avoid having your first layer be a cotton based article of clothing. Cotton absorbs the sweat (Or rain/snow depending on the weather) and will actually make you feel colder. Try to start off using something with a moisture wicking fabric.


Stay Hydrated.

As always, make sure you stay hydrated. Thirst isn’t always the best way to tell if you need to drink. Especially when it's cold. When exercising outside, you may tend to sweat much more due to the added layers you’ve got on. On top of that, sweat evaporates much quicker in the cold, dry air. Drinking plenty of water before, during, and after is very important to not getting dehydrated.

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