While the weather is all about polar vortexes and ice storms, those New Year resolutions aren’t going to get themselves accomplished if you wait for warmer temperatures. So while the weather may be cold, many of you will layer up and head outside. For those hardy few, here are some tips for exercising outside in cold weather.

  • First and foremost, stay hydrated! You can still sweat just as much (especially if you are bundled up). Try to put your drinking water underneath layers to keep it from freezing.
  • Having gloves and water wicking socks are key components to staying warm in the cold. Running becomes much more difficult when you can’t feel your feet.
  • Stable, safe footing should be a high priority when planning a winter running/walking route. So for those of you with those “lucky” pair of running shoes that have long since been rubbed smooth, it may be time to look for some new footwear before potentially stepping on ice and snow.
  • Scout out a loop in your neighborhood that you can repeat as many times as you want. That way if you become tired, slip on ice, or get wet, you will be close to home and can quickly escape the elements. Remember, no one is sending the sled dogs if you get too far out.
  • When heading into cold weather, give your body time to adjust to the conditions by taking 30 second breaks every few minutes for the first ten minutes.
  • To avoid getting too chilled during your cool down, keep if brief. Slow your pace for three to four minutes, then go inside to stretch. Take off extra layers and keep moving for another five to 10 minutes.
  • It is better to underestimate your abilities in the cold. It’s helpful to wrap a scarf around your nose and mouth to warm the air before you breathe it in.
  • During winter months, do your exercising when the temperatures are at their highest. Some days the weather is way to challenging to battle, so move your workout indoors.
  • Exercising with a friend is ideal. While working out with them, you will have encouragement. If a friend is not available, take your cell phone, in case you encounter any issues. Again remember, no sled dogs will come get you.