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5 Men’s Winter Fitness Tips for Working Out in Cold Temperatures

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By: Taylor Ford


5 Men’s Winter Fitness Tips for Working Out in Cold Temperatures

I spent the first two decades of my life in the mid-west, so I can attest to the mental and physical obstacles winter brings to  your "New Year New Me" mindset. You don’t have to sacrifice the progress you made through the summer and fall just because the temperature drops. You may have to make a few modifications to your routine to accommodate the changing weather. At the end of the day, the "weather" is just another excuse holding you back, or inside. A solid plan is the best remedy for excuses, and I've got one for you below.

cold runnerOptimize Your Workouts for Colder Weather with These 5 Tips

Despite colder temperatures and earlier sunsets, plenty of people still rise above their excuses and make fitness a priority, even outside in the wintertime. Let's get moving! 

1. Keep Warm With Smart Layering.

smart layering

A good rule of thumb is to dress as if it’s 10 degrees warmer than the actual temperature outside; This accounts for your body naturally warming up. With that being said, layering is key. Removing extra clothes is much easier than interrupting your workout to run home and grab an extra layer.

It’s also important to consider the order in which you put on your clothes. The first layer of clothing, closest to your body, should contain sweat-wicking material. The second closest should be an insulating material. The third layer should be a weather-resistant material that’s wind and rain-repellent.

You also want to take proper care of your entire body by wearing warm socks, gloves, ear warmers, or a hat.


2. Do a Longer and More Dynamic Warm-up Routine

The first tip I give to people new to running is to resist the initial excitement and start out way too fast: your heart rate and overall run will suffer. This is especially true in the winter, when it takes your body longer to warm up for a workout in the cold weather.

Doing dynamic stretches, as opposed to static stretches, before your workout will better prepare your muscles for the influx of motions you’ll be engaging in.

Use your warm-up to gradually work your heart rate up to the intensity of the exercise you’ll be doing.

3. Remember to Protect Your Skin during an Outdoor Workout

Your skin isn’t immune to UV rays when it gets colder outside. In fact, snow and ice can reflect sunlight, making it worse than other seasons. It’s just as important to put sunscreen on the exposed parts of your skin—your face in particular—during the winter as it is in the summer months to protect it from damage.

4. Make Extra Time to Cool Down

After your workout, do 5–10 minutes of low-impact exercise like walking to regulate your heart rate. You can also take this time to do any static stretches to increase flexibility.

Be sure to remove any wet gear as soon as possible, as it can continue to suck the heat from your body after your workout. Taking a warm shower or changing into dry clothing can help to keep your body temperature stable after finishing a winter workout.

5. Keep Your Post-workout Routine Consistent

Chugging electrolytes or protein after a hot summer run just hits differently, I get it, but don't let those icicles dangling from your beard stop you from getting some protein!  You’ll want to get a protein-rich snack after your workout to promote muscle development and recovery, my go-to is Mdrive Start. It has 6 forms of protein, including collagen to help support my joints, which is a plus. 

Drink lots of water to replenish the fluids lost during your workout, even when it’s not hot outside, and get plenty of rest between workouts. 

Know the Safety Limits for Winter Workouts

Low temperatures come with a list of potential hazards. Hypothermia can quickly sneak up on people when the weather is colder. Consider moving your workout indoors if the temperature drops below freezing or it’s raining or snowing.

Being driven can lead to stubbornness, and in turn ignorance. Don't let it lead to frostbite.

Stay safe, stay warm, and stay driven, my friends!

Taylor Ford
Executive Editor

stay warm


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