5 tips to staying safe while exercising outside in winter

Updated Dec 15, 2014
Winter Exercise

It’s not always easy and not necessarily fun, but exercising during winter can be important to your health and fitness goals.

If you are going to venture outside to exercise, be smart and stay safe.  Here are some tips on how to do just that.

Winter ExerciseStay safe and warm while exercising outside this winter.

Wear Layers: Insulating against the wind, snow and cold you need to create a layered barrier of clothes instead of a single bulk. Wearing layers lets you remove the outer layer if you get over-heated. The layer touching your skin should be a lightweight synthetic or polyester material that will dry quickly and wick away moisture. The second layer should be wool or polyester fleece. The outermost layer should be lighter weight and water-repellent to help you stay dry when working out in the rain, snow, or wind.

Put a Lid On It: Since about 50 percent of one’s body heat is lost from an uncovered head when the temperatures drop, wearing a hat helps your body retain heat.

Drink Up!: While it may not be as obvious as it is in the summer, you’re still sweating during cold-weather workout, so you need to stay hydrated. Most experts suggest drinking water before, after and during workouts, even if you don’t feel thirsty.

Accessorize Your Workout Outfit: Protect your fingers from frostbite by layering thin gloves with heavier mittens so you can remove a layer if needed without exposing bare skin. Cover your face with mask or scarf when the temperature is below freezing to help warm the air a bit before entering your lungs. And, of course, Wear sturdy footwear with good traction to prevent slips and falls.

Be Smart: Yes, it’s important to exercise regularly, even if it is walking, but exercise common sense and skip a day of running or take your workout inside if the temps drop too low or the wind chill is too frigid. There’s a lot you can do inside during the winter to keep your fitness routine on track.