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Tips for winter exercise

Benefits of outdoor exercise

Nature can add extra fuel to your workout. Exercise improves your mental and physical well-being, especially when outdoors. Taking your workout outside can reduce stress, improve mood, and raise self-esteem. Add to that some vitamin D from the sun.

Stay warm and safe

Since the other two risks of exercising in the cold are frostbite and hypothermia, try these tips to stay fit, motivated, and warm:

  1. Mind your head, hands, and feet: You lose heat through your head, so be sure to wear a hat. Insulate your feet with warm thermal socks. Choose mittens over gloves since your fingers will warm each other. You can wear thin gloves under heavier mittens so you can remove a layer if needed.
  2. Watch your step and prevent falls: Avoid slips and falls on snow or ice by wearing sturdy shoes with good traction.
  3. Stay hydrated: Be sure to drink water before, during, and after your workout, even if you don’t feel very thirsty. Dehydration can be more difficult to notice during cold-weather exercise. If your lips are chapped, this means you need more water.
  4. Don’t overdo it: Both cold weather and exercise put stress on your body, so start your exercise routine slowly and listen to your body.
  5. Dress in layers: Start by wearing a lightweight synthetic material, not cotton, to draw the sweat away from your body and dry quickly. Add another layer or two of wool or fleece for insulating warmth. Then top it off with a lightweight, water-repellent, and wind-resistant material.

Enjoy a safe, active winter season

Dr. Bourgaize and Eleanor enjoying the outdoors on a neighbourhood rink.

Dr. Bourgaize and Eleanor enjoying outdoor exercise on a neighbourhood rink.

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