Jan 022017

After the initial novelty of it wears off, nobody really likes the cold, especially if you are being forced into it. And if we are being honest, nobody really likes being forced to exercise. So when you are forced to combine those things, it takes a great deal of willpower just to motivate yourself to lace up your sneakers and get out the door.

Not everyone has that strength to do that which is why a lot of people gain undesirable weight during the winter and make annual resolutions for the new year.

Exercising outdoors can be beneficial for your body. The crisp air can keep your energy from draining as quickly as it does during steamy summers keeping you fresher through your workout and the fresh air will help your circulatory system exhale carbon dioxide and other toxins more efficiently. You will however have to take a few extra precautions to protect you from injury and other harm that can come from exposure to lower temperatures.

So here are a few tips to help make your outdoors exercise time more tolerable so that you can keep up with your workout regimen when the thermometer drops:

Cover Your Head and Hands:

Most of your body’s heat is lost on a cold day through the outermost extremities so it is essential to keep your head and your hands warm. If these parts of your body are exposed, it is going to cause the rest of your body to feel much colder than it actually is. There are gloves specially designed to protect your hands from the elements while enabling you to keep your dexterity in your fingers and maintain grip when performing such tasks as riding a bike outdoors while still keeping your hands warm. For your head, even a simple baseball hat can help provide a layer of insulating protection although a beanie-style hat is a better choice if the temperatures are near or below freezing temperatures.

Go with Multiple Layers:

Wearing multiple layers of clothing can be your friend while exercising outdoors. While wearing a single, large jacket over your workout clothes might seem like the obvious solution to staying warm, in can often be bulky and uncomfortable to maintain a range of motions in. A better solution is to use several thinner layers of clothing that create multiple barriers from the cold and that you can easily shed as you start to warm up. An example of this would be wearing a thin hooded sweatshirt over a long-sleeved shirt or sweater which is worn over your workout shirt. As you get warmer during your walk or hike you can then remove each layer to better regulate your body’s temperature.

Choose Socks Wisely:

As we mentioned above, your extremities are the most prone to becoming exposed to the temperature difference and your feet are no different. Not all socks are created equal and what may work for you in the summertime may not provide adequate protection in colder weather. The type of socks you choose are  important. When walking on cold ground, your feet will absorb the freezing temperatures. Thick socks can keep your feet warm no matter the weather.

Be sure you bring your athletic shoes with you when trying on moisture-wicking workout socks so that your shoes fit over them comfortably.

Keep Hydrated:

Although you may not be pouring sweat like you might have been in the hotter climes, your body can still lose a great deal of liquid by sweating and through aspiration. Staying hydrated is just as important when you are exercising outside in January as it is in July. Keep a water bottle with you at all times. It might be tempting to fill it with warm liquid, a cold drink is actually more beneficial when it comes to maintaining your internal body temperature, helping you to handle the colder temperatures better and burning more calories as your body works to warm up the liquid once it is ingested.

  97 Responses to “How to Stay Comfortable When Exercising Outdoors in Cold Weather”

  1. Nice one. I am fond of walking and doing yoga.These tips are quite helpful to me. I will keep them in mind while going out nowadays. Thanks for sharing:)

  2. All good tips. It took me quite a few adult years to realize wearing a hat made all the difference in the world!

  3. I must have cozy socks if I go out and about in the cold weather. I also need socks that have a good support to them.

  4. These are great tips for anyone who exercises in the cold weather. I wish I could, but it’s too much for me. =/

  5. This is helpful. I’m in Texas so it doesn’t get TOO cold, but we do have nippy days.

  6. Winter workouts do take a bit more preparation for me. The weather can be tricky, but your tips are helpful. Thanks for sharing.

  7. I find that keeping my head warms really helps when outside in the winter. I should probably wear gloves more often too.

  8. I want to exercise year round, but it can be hard! I don’t want to get hurt in bad weather.

  9. Layers on a must when it comes to getting outside and working out. Always take water with you and drink it up.

  10. Great tips! I agree with keeping your hands and head covered to prevent heat loss

  11. This post is just the motivation I needed to get outside and start exercising. I think I will start after it stops raining.

  12. You are so right about choosing the right socks. I’ve made that mistake once or twice and it really made a big difference.

  13. Winter is my laziest season. I used to stay at home and forget about workout during this season. But this post motivates me a lot. Your tips to keep hydrated is very helpful since it never comes to my mind. Thanks for posting very helpful ideas!

  14. This is the perfect post for me! I love to exercise, but up here in Canada, the cold come early, and it can be just AWFUL.

  15. Great tips for working out in the cold. Our winters are cold here in Ontario, Canada these tips are perfect for me.

  16. Nice topic! I think this is why so many people evade working out this time of year. These are great tips! Thank you for sharing!

  17. These are great tips. I would find it hard to stay motivated to workout outside in the cold. I would want to wear multiple layers.

  18. Great tips! it is so cold here in England at the moment so I will use some of your suggestions! thank you xxx

  19. Thankfully my weather in winter is mild about 40 degrees. I just add leggins and a long sleve shirt when I run

  20. These are great tips. I usually avoid the cold weather like the plague. (Hard to do when living in PA!) But exercising in it? Ugh. I’ll run up and down my stairs a few extra times! LOL. Good reminder on staying hydrated. Regardless of the temps, it’s still important!

  21. Great tips! I’m not a runner but I do like a good hike and Arizona’s weather isn’t too harsh in the winter. Hydration is important to remember bc even though it’s not hot out, your body is still using water and needs to stay hydrated. Thanks!

  22. These are such great tips. I live in MN and you know, it gets a bit cold here in the winter! I have a really hard time not spending the entire winter indoors, and I really need to get outside and be active. I mean, I used to do it all the time when I was younger, I should still be able to do it, right?

  23. Good tips! I definitely find it incredibly hard to work out outside when it’s cold. Either all of my body is numb, or I’m sweating even more profusely than normal!

  24. Well, thanks. There goes all my excuses for not walking in the winter. I will have to start now thanks to you and this greatly informative post. 🙂

  25. okay so I will admit I do not exercise much, let along in cold weather. BUT my husband does daily. I always worry about him and I appreciate you sharing about keeping hands warm. He doesn’t!!!! maybe if I buy him gloves

  26. I admire those who can get out there in the cold and work out. I see the college kids running around town, but honestly, I am so thankful for my gym membership where it’s nice and warm lol.

  27. The right socks are really important! And for sure hydration!



  28. These tips are very helpful. I love running on the street. I ran the most during the warm months but I would always stop when it got cold.

  29. It’s so important to stay comfortable when exercising outdoors during the winter. These are great tips on making it possible. Thanks for sharing your experiences.

  30. Staying hydrated is important no matter the weather. These are great tips for exercising in the cold.

  31. A lot of people think that because it it cold weather that they don’t have to hydrate. That is a big mistake. If anything, winter is usually dryer than summer, therefore it is more important to stay hydrated in the cold. That’s a great tip!

  32. Love your honesty about exercising outdoors when it’s cold. Layers are a great idea

  33. I’ve needed a post like this for ever!!! I always get uncomfortable when working out outside and I must wrap up more. And also cover my hands because they always hurt!

  34. I have to cover my face too. With asthma it can get bad this time of year. Certainly exercise is great!

  35. Although we already know some of this tips it is still important for us to be reminded every now and then. Thanks for this reminders.

  36. Robin, you have written great tips. I love exercising outdoors and it is proper winter in my country now!

  37. I agree staying hydrated is important no matter what the weather is, I got dehydrated a few years back and it was winter.

  38. I really like jogging in the cold, to include snow. All good points you made 😀 I would add reflective sunglasses; snow.

  39. I really struggle working out in the winter – the cold really makes me want to curl up in my blankets and never come out!! lol

  40. This is a good guide! It’s pretty impressive when I see runners along the sidewalks on some of the coldest, wettest days. They have the right idea!

  41. We have negative- and single-digit temps in CO thisweek, and it makes me want to stay inside! I may try your tips and head out for a quick run though. 🙂

  42. Those are all so helpful. I think it’s important to have a good routine during the winter so as not to ruin your momentum when it comes to working out. It’s nice to stay fit especially during and after the holidays!

  43. These are great tips! I used to live in NJ and exercise in the cold weather so these tips are perfect!

  44. These are some great tips! I love to run outside or walk my dog but in the cold it could turn me away!

  45. Great tips. I’m from Alaska, so I learned how to layer, what type of socks, hats and mittens to wear while I was still a kid. Don’t forget a scarf to protect delicate lung tissue if it’s very cold out.

  46. Working out in the winter has always been an issue for me. I will have to try out these tips… I have mostly just stayed inside and attempting jumping jacks, cuz its too cold to go for a run… then I give up on the jumping jacks and go find something else to do. Motivation is not my strong suit.

  47. What a brilliant tips! I really need to get fit and healthy this year!

  48. Exercising while cold weather is really fun! I love sweating at cold weather. This is smart tips.

  49. Good tips. I for one do not like the cold and often forget the importance of hydration. Thanks.

  50. These are great tips, thank you! I wanted to get ready to walk this week. but now the weather got cold!

  51. Handy tips for runners who live in cool climate. I look forward to be able to exercise in a cool weather. From where I live, it’s almost effortless to sweat. 🙂

  52. Wonderful tips! I always makes sure to wear more than one layers to keep me a bit more warm!

  53. This is great advice. One of my goals this year is to get running again and build endurance which means also running outside of the gym so that means out in the cold too!

  54. My sister in Maryland sends me pics of her out in the cold running. Serious determination. If it’s lower than 70 I’ll come up with excuses to stay indoors.

  55. I hate working out in the winter. That’s why I recently joined a gym, now I have no excuses not to get it done! HA!

  56. Great tips! Layering and right socks will help you keep your body warm.
    No more excuses for exercising in winters. Thanks for sharing.

  57. Thanks for the great tips. It is definitely a bit harder to stay on track in the colder months.

  58. cold weather is always been an excuse for me to cheat my regular routine. lol. this post gave me an idea to continue my daily work out even at cold weather

  59. Really great tips! Definitely trying these tips! I don’t want the cold weather to stop me from my goals. 😀

  60. I am always so cold but I make sure to at least walk a few miles everyday because it gives you more motivation. Plus it will keep you active.

  61. I love to walk/jog outdoors especially during cold weather and I always have my water with me. thank you for sharing these tips

  62. I’m always cold – even in the middle of summer I complain i’m cold! However one night I was walking along the thames river in London and after a while I did warm up. To the point I need to take off my jacket – in the middle of winter! lol What i’m saying is during winter walking is the only way I seem to warm up. xxx

  63. I live in Florida so our winter weather is perfect when exercising outdoors. But these tips are perfect for those who live in cold weather states.

  64. These are excellent tips. The cold always seems to make me stay away from the outdoors for exercising but i know it feels so refreshing to run outdoors!

  65. A lot of people have been missing out on these very basics. It’s good to be reminded especially this cold season!

  66. We are going for a walk in the mornings now, so these tips will come in handy. We also joi9ned a running club and they have really cool gadgets like shoe lights and head lamps to help in the dark.

  67. I always find that my outdoor runs decrease significantly during the winter months but I need to make sure that doesn’t happen this year. I really need to get some new head gear but luckily I got some new layering pieces for Christmas.

  68. How I stay comfortable exercising…

    I stay inside and bake chocolate cookies. 😉

    Did I mention I’m a Floridian and allergic to cold weather?

  69. I’m going to be the opposite one here. I love cold weather. I live in Florida, it’s hot and so humid. When it’s 98 degrees outside with the humidity at 100%, I’d rather workout in the cold any day of the week. 🙂

  70. I love all these tips. We hike often and I don’t usually bring mittens but that’s a great idea. Hats we always wear but warm hands is a must. Layering up is also so important to do.

  71. These are great tips! Down here in Texas, I have realized how much I dislike winter. It’s been so cold down here lately that I have avoided taking the dog on walks, which makes me feel terrible for him.

  72. I prefer to do my exercise by the fireplace 😉 . I can’t jog outside at this time of the year (lots of snow) except on our driveway.

  73. Working out in the winter, especially outdoors is such a challenge. I tend to keep my workouts indoor, but these tips can really help when I need some outside time.

  74. Although I exercise regularly, I prefer staying indoors when we have inclement weather…unless I am skiing. Just don’t like all the layers.

  75. Thanks for the good tips.
    This is a helpful list.

  76. These are great tips, especially as the weather here gets colder. Now to get me out of the house to workout!!!

  77. It is amazing how fast you can get dehydrated in the winter time! These are great tips for excerising outside!

  78. Good quality socks can make all the difference! I’ve paid the price when I’ve ran too much in cheaper socks!

  79. It’s important to always have a bottle of water, regardless of the season. Staying hydrated is just as important in the winter as it is in the summer. These are really helpful!

  80. Working out shouldn’t be missed even if it’s freezing outside! There’s really no excuse! I think these tips are helpful.

  81. The winter can be really uncomfortable. I think it’s important to make sure everything is covered, especially your hands and your head. These tips are true to the core, I’ve gone through working out in the winter and this is exactly what I do.

  82. Those are really great tips! I’ve been wanting to get outside and workout but hate the cold. I will have to do these instead.

  83. That’s really lovely, it’s important to stay comfy and warm when you’re working out during the winter! I like the idea of being able to keep up with your exercise regardless of the weather.

  84. This weekend is supposed to be our first super cold weather. I will make sure to have my hat and gloves ready.

  85. I needed this! I used to run every day then I moved to the Midwest and froze!! I will definitely have to try again using these tips!

  86. i wish i could work out. my husband and oldest daughter does though. luckily we are in the desert so it’s pretty warm even at night.

  87. I love these tips! Its so hard to get motivated to work out in the cold. I need to get out and get moving more.

  88. I love this guide. I used to work out in the winters when I lived in michigan and I used to have so many layers on that it helped me sweat and I burnt more calories. lol

  89. These are some great tips!!! I Iive where it’s cold 24/7 so I need all the good advice I can get!

  90. I wish I could exercice outside…I just prefer gym!

  91. I must admit I am one of those who finds it hard to stay motivated in the winter months. These are all great tips

  92. It’s really important to bundle up in the winter, I still go for long brisk walks as my winter exercise which allows me to carry my traveler filled with hot tea, that definitely helps with keeping hydrated and staying warm.
    XO, MJ

  93. good tips. I usually just work out inside when the weather is crappy. Layers are def a must out in the elements.

  94. Those are great tips, I often start slacking with my exercise regiment in the winter due to the cold (i’m in Atlantic Canada so our winters are quite brutal) but this year i’ve been keeping up pretty well by doing exercises in my home & going to the indoor walking track my town has that way I don’t get frost bite while trying to stay in shape

  95. Cold and exercising in one sentence?! I’d rather not lol But I guess if I have to, then I would want to be as comfortable as possible. I’ve seen people running with shorts in the winter. Not like -20 but like -5 Still pretty cold though.

  96. This sounds a great way to do it as at least you want to run to keep warm – I love running and do it in all weathers

  97. Great tips on keeping up with outdoor exercise even on cold days. I guess, there really is no excuse as long as you commit to working out and getting a healthier and fitter body!