Tips for Exercising in Cold Weather

FightCamp - Tips for Exercising in Cold Weather

Trees are bare, snow is on the ground, and you’re ready to work out outside. Before you face the winter elements use these tips for exercising in cold weather.

Published: January 29, 2023

Topics: Tips & Technique, Training

Author: Emma Comery

Staying Safe While Exercising in the Cold

Just like warm-weather workouts, training in the cold comes with its own set of risks and precautions. But if you stay prepared and take the weather seriously, you’ll be able to enjoy a safe and successful winter workout.

Watch the Windchill

We’re serious about this! No matter what type of training you’re doing and how long you’re outside, knowing when to go back inside is critical. When the windchill falls below -18 degrees F, frostbite takes only 30 minutes to set it. It’s also important to remember that if you get wet while working out in the cold – like running in the rain or the snow – it will be harder for your body to maintain its core temperature, and you risk physical injury and illness. 

Protect Your Extremities

When you exercise, your body is sending all the blood it can to your core, leaving your extremities – head, hands, ears, and feet – to fend for themselves. This makes them especially vulnerable to frostbite. Here are some easy ways to protect yourself:

  • Wear thin wicking gloves beneath a pair of heavier wool- or fleece-lined mittens. That’s right – double the coverage! 

  • Invest in sneakers a half size larger than normal so you can comfortably wear thicker socks

  • Wear a hat or headband that covers your ears

  • On colder days, consider a ski mask, hunting mask, or balaclava that protects your face

Wear Layers

When you exercise in the cold, your body goes through a roller coaster of temperatures. As your heart rate increases, you will start to feel warmer than you really are. But as your sweat evaporates, it pulls heat from your body, and suddenly you’re cold again. The answer to this Catch 22 is to wear layers that you can take off and put on as needed. Wearing a synthetic layer against your skin will help wick away sweat, and a fleece layer on top of that will provide insulation. For your top layer, consider something waterproof and wind-resistance. Avoid cotton at all costs; once it gets wet, it stays wet, and your body won’t be able to re-regulate its core temperature. 

Don’t Forget Sunscreen

Just because it’s not hot out doesn’t mean the sun won’t burn. In fact, if you’re exercising in the snow or at high altitudes, the sun will be even more likely to burn your skin. If you’re exercising in the cold consistently, always wear sunscreen, a lip balm with sunscreen, and sunglasses. 

Getting Motivated to Workout in the Cold 

Motivating yourself through the dark months can be a challenge. But it’s not impossible. Do these easy cold-weather workout hacks:

Invest in New Activewear

When the cold weather hits, we all want to hunker down and hibernate in our cozy homes. To help you get outside, treat yourself to some new workout gear that excites you. It’s hard not to want to show off a new outfit, and wearing workout clothes that make you look and feel good can be an instant confidence boost!

Find a Workout Buddy

Accountability! Accountability! Accountability! Finding a workout buddy is a great way to get through cold-weather workouts. The social interaction will rejuvenate you, and the opportunity to set goals and meet people who will motivate you.

Benefits of Working Out in the Cold

Working out in the cold weather can help you stay fit, keep your mind sharp, and ward off winter illnesses. 

Combat Seasonal Affective Disorder

Shorter days and less natural light can take a toll on your emotional and mental state. While exercise is known to be a mood booster year-round, it’s especially important during the colder months when sunlight and endorphins are in short supply. Fresh air and exercise will help overcome and prevent Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), anxiety, and depression.  

Boost Your Immune System

Regular physical activity is great for maintaining a strong immune system, which is especially vital in the colder months when viral diseases are running rampant. It may be tempting to stay inside and stay away from others, but working out in cold weather will actually help you build up the resistance you need if a bug ever comes your way.

Diverse Training Options

Do you know what you can’t do in the summer? Ski! Snowboard! Ice skate! Play hockey on the lake! The cold weather offers numerous exciting exercise opportunities that don’t even feel like working out! 

Burn More Calories

This may sound like a myth but stay with us. When you’re exercising in the cold, your body has to work that much harder to maintain its core temperature. This means your metabolism is going through the roof and your body is burning more calories and more fat. They weren’t lying when they said summer bodies are built in the winter! 

Train Like a Fighter in the Cold

Take your workouts to the next level this winter and train like a fighter with the at-home connected fitness solution used by world champion boxers Mike Tyson and Floyd Mayweather. FightCamp has everything you need to work out on your schedule, with premium boxing equipment and hundreds of on-demand strength, conditioning, kickboxing, boxing, core, and recovery classes led by real fighters. As Mike Tyson said - “FightCamp is the next level of training!” 

Emma Comery

Emma Comery is a freelance writer, working toward her MFA in Nonfiction at Old Dominion University. She fell in love with Thai Boxing during the pandemic, and regularly trains at her local UFC gym.

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