If you’re like me, you can’t stand being cooped up inside for a workout. When I go home for winter break, I do not have a gym membership and all I have available to me is a treadmill and bike in my dark basement. I crave the fresh air and even if the temperature is freezing, I will be outside running or walking. But working outside can put your health and well being at risk. You need to be safe, and if you have any conditions like asthma, heart problems, please contact your doctor for approval to work out in the cold weather.
Make sure you wear layers. Don’t dress too warmly and don’t wear a tank top and shorts. You need a happy medium. Wear a tank top under a t-shirt, under a long sleeve, under a sweatshirt. If you dress too warmly, you can start sweating and you will eventually become chilled if you cannot remove layers to prevent profuse sweating. By wearing layers, you can prevent getting a chill. You can remove layers as soon as you begin sweating. Avoid cotton as it holds moisture. You can wear a scarf around your mouth as well to warm the air before you breath it in so that the cold air is not so harsh on your lungs.
Protect your extremities like your hands, feet and ears. When it is cold out, your body wants to keep your core warm, where your important organs are located. This leaves your hands and feet with less blood flow. Layer on gloves, and socks to prevent frostbite. Remember that layers apply here as well. Remove a layer of gloves or socks if you being to sweat. Make sure to wear a headband, earmuffs, or hat to protect your ears.
If the weather falls below 0 degrees Fahrenheit, please consider staying indoors to exercise. With wind chills, the cold wind can break right through your layers of clothing and hit your skin. The wind chill could affect any exposed skin like your face or nose and put you at risk for frostbite.
Wear clothing that is reflective if you are exercising at night, shoes that have some sort of grip if you are running or walking on snow or ice, and wear a helmet and joint pads if you are skiing or snow boarding.