Exercising in Cold Weather


Fall is a bittersweet time here in Vermont. We say goodbye to the warm days of summer but we look forward to what’s coming. While there isn’t any snow here (yet) and the leaves are falling fast, it’s just one more beautiful season for us.

What’s more, cold weather brings the opportunity for new and fun things to do outdoors. In fact, we think there is nothing better than a brisk fall or winter walk to increase our energy, shake the winter blues and help us sleep soundly at night.

What to Wear When Exercising in Cold Weather

But you want to equip yourself to stay safe and comfy. In this video, LynnAnn Covell, our senior exercise specialist, explains how to layer correctly so you can comfortably keep up your outdoor fitness routine during colder months.

We summarize important points below the video for quick review.

  • It’s important to wear a hat, which helps keep your entire body warm. Wearing a hat prevents heat loss, so your circulatory system will have more heat to distribute to the rest of your body.
  • Make sure your middle layer of clothing, such as a sweatshirt or fleece, covers your neck.  Hoodies are good options.
  • Look for coats, gloves and boots with Gore-Tex®, which protects against wind and precipitation, while still letting out heat and moisture to prevent overheating and chilling.
  • Ideally, gloves and boots have inserts that can be removed for easier and faster drying.
  • Remember that heat escapes through the extremities, so give your feet some love. It’s not a good idea to wear cotton socks because they don’t wick away moisture and can leave your feet wet and blister-prone. Fabrics like acrylic, CoolMax®, or wool (when it’s really cold) are better options.

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And Keep These Safety Tips in Mind 

  • Don’t forget to protect your skin with sunscreen.  Just because the temps are lower, the sun is still strong, especially as it reflects off the snow.
  • Sometimes it can be hard to breathe in the cold.  If you find yourself having a hard time, it is time to come inside.
  • Be aware of numbness or a tingling or stinging sensation in the extremities.  These can be early signs of frostbite.

Most importantly, pay attention to how you feel. If you are shivering uncontrollably or your feet just won’t warm up after a few minutes, then it may be too cold to be outside. Do only what feels right.

Are you planning any fun outdoor fitness this weekend?

7 responses to “Exercising in Cold Weather”

  1. Kari says:

    thanks for this info! I was actually wondering about how to properly continue exercising now that it’s getting colder. I don’t think I layered properly a couple days ago and the cold chill was extreme. I am feeling a cold coming on now too. Will go look for some outdoor fitness clothes this weekend.

  2. The Strong Will Excel says:

    Great post, it is so important to maintain one’s exercise routine in the cold months and it is important to do part of that work outside, this advice will help.

  3. Felix Frank says:

    Good tips for being mindful of your bodies’ needs when exercising in colder temps. Thanks for sharing!

  4. planet body says:

    Its challenging to do a exercise while the weather is cold. Well its a good idea if we try to do that. 🙂

  5. Richard E says:

    I always find that I’m much more likely to exercise during the colder weather. There are far fewer distractions, and things to eat up my spare time, so I’m free to just get out there.

    As you mention, some good clothing is important to ensure you are comfortable and able to enjoy exercise during the cold weather.

    To quote a famous saying: “There is no such thing as bad weather. Just bad clothes.”

  6. Bethany says:

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  7. Adam H says:

    Hi Bethany,
    This is the great opportunity for me and other views to live a happy life after reading the excellent information about exercises and also applied in cold weather to maintain the weight of body .I read your post with full attentions and remember the awesome tips of exercises you mentioned in this article that is helpful to me and make my life easy
    with enjoyable exercises in cold weather .


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About the Author

Marsha Hudnall, MS, RDN, CD

If you’re looking for an embodiment of dedication disguised as obsession, look no further. Marsha is a registered dietitian who has spent the last four decades working to help women give up dieting rules and understand how to truly take care of themselves. Her mission in life is to help women learn to enjoy eating and living well, without worries about their weight. She encourages women to embrace their love of food, which you might call being a foodie. If so, it’s appropriate because being a foodie means you pay attention when you eat. That’s a recipe made in heaven for eating well. Marsha is the President and Co-Owner of Green Mountain at Fox Run.

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