7 Quick Tips to Exercising in Cold Weather

Running in winter

Many of us have pledged exercise as a New Year’s resolution. If you’re not a gym member or don’t have a sweet set-up at home, you’re hitting the outdoors in January.


The first three months of the year often can be a challenge weather-wise, whether you’re a beginner or a veteran. Cold air and ice don’t play favorites.

Here are seven tips to keep you protected, healthy, and most importantly, motivated to exercise again and again:

Dress in layers

 runner outdoors

Don’t grab your largest, warmest coat. Layering your clothing (lightweight and waterproof) allows you to discard it as you begin sweating. Experiment to find the right combination, based on your exercise intensity.

Check the wind chill

The combination of temperature and wind can make it feel worse than what the thermometer reads. Be aware during windy days.

Hydrate (just like summer)

It’s still a vital part of exercise, as the way to replace what you’re losing is through sweat, breathing heavily, and wind drying you out. Drink before, during, and after exercise, even if you don’t feel thirsty.

Protect your extremities

Your blood flow stays near your core in cold weather, leaving your hands, head, feet, and ears vulnerable to frostbite. Consider gloves lined with fleece or wool, thermal socks, and a hat that covers your ears

Safety gear is a must

Wear reflective clothing if you exercise in the dark. Outfit your bike with lights. Choose shoes that won’t slip as easily on wet or icy surfaces. Consider sunscreen, sunglasses, and lip balm, too.

Be able to identify frostbite and hypothermia

Frostbite happens most often on exposed skin (nose, ears, cheeks, etc.) and is signaled by numbness or a stinging sensation. Hypothermia is an abnormal drop in body temperature, and signs are shivering, slurred speech, and fatigue.

Choose exercises you enjoy

The best exercise you can do? It’s the one you’re motivated to keep returning to! Realize your limits and do what makes you feel good. For any of your healthcare needs, the professionals at StarMed Healthcare are always here to discuss any questions or concerns you may have. We’re open 365 days a year, with walk-ins welcome. To find a location near you, visit starmed.care/locations/