Top Cold-Weather Workout Tips

It’s starting. The weather is getting chilly, which means that those of us with outdoor exercise routines have cold mornings to contend with. You don’t have to let that drop in temperature hurt your workout! Here are some ideas on winterizing your exercise routine so you can keep it up all winter long.

Dress the Part

Layers are the key to a more comfortable winter workout. Start with an organic cotton t-shirt to help wick moisture away from your body, then layer on a long sleeved top and a hoodie. As you get moving, you’ll start to warm up, and it’s nice to be able to shed those layers!

You can also invest in some thicker socks and warm pants to keep your feet and legs from getting chilly.

Bundling up your extremities can make a big difference in winter, too. Cozy gloves and a hat or ear warmers are a must on chilly days. If you have trouble catching your breath in the cold, you might consider wrapping a scarf loosely around your mouth and nose.

snowy bike lane

Play it Safe

Cold temperatures are one thing, but whether you’re running, walking, or cycling, you should take extra care after a freeze or when exercising in the snow. Keep your eyes on the road to avoid icy patches and other cold weather hazards.

Winter’s shorter days also mean less daylight and decreased visibility. Make sure you’re wearing light colored gear. If possible, a jacket or shoes with reflective material can help make sure you’re visible to cars. If cycling is your thing, check the batteries in your bike lights and remember to turn them on if you’re exercising after dark.

shea butter lip balm

Tips for Extra Comfort

I don’t know about you, but when I jog in the cold, my nose runs like nobody’s business. Now, I keep a small handkerchief in my pocket so that I can take care of the problem and keep going.

Dry weather and chilly wind is hard on your skin. Applying some petroleum-free lip balm before you head out can help prevent painful chapped lips. You might also put some lotion on your hands, arms, and face to protect your skin from the winter air.

Do any of you exercise outdoors when the weather is cold? I’d love to hear your tips in the comments!

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Image Credits:
Jack Frost. Creative Commons photo by Ctd 2005
Snowy Bike Lane. Creative Commons photo by Dennis AB
Lip Balm. Creative Commons photo by colourise


Nils Anders Lunde
PlsNoMessage se4 years ago


Shanti S.
S S4 years ago

Thank you.

Michele Wilkinson

Thank you

Dani H.
Dani H7 years ago

If your jogging or running where and scarf, gloves, and a jacket. When I was in track my nuckles would bleed when we ran in the cold.

Chris Monahan
Chris Monahan7 years ago

Hard to get out there in the cold, but these tips will help. Thanks.

Marty K.
Marty K7 years ago

Wait.."cotton kills"..why would the article writer suggest putting cotton next to the skin. It holds moisture and keeps the body wet.

Larry Lawton
Larry Lawton7 years ago

These are my experiences and might not work for others. I believe it is better to experiment and find out what works best for you. My skin is sensitive so I prefer cotton. But cotton does absorb moisture. For my feet, I use thin cotton socks and thicker wool socks over the cotton. Warm and comfortable. Likewise for my torso. A thin cotton shirt and thicker wool (or whatever works for you) in the outer layers. My lips get chapped if I breathe through my mouth -- when running, this is inevitable. I find petroleum jelly works a lot better than more expensive lip balm, though I know it might be less "green" -- but I am still using a jar I bought years ago! If you can do exercise (I work in my yard when it is not raining) that does not require breathing through your mouth, it is much easier on your body to breathe cold air through your nose, which is equipped to warm and moisten air before it reaches your lungs. The point of layering is to avoid getting so warm you sweat and get clothing wet. If you take off clothing as you warm up, you can minimize sweating. If you do get your clothing wet, you should get into a warmer place quickly when you are done exercising. After running, I like to walk a while to cool off. But it is not good to let your body get too cold after exercising.

Alicia N.
Alicia N7 years ago

Hi Becky you've mentioned cotton or organic cotton but, sadly ... that one doesn't work for cold weather, try fleece, yes... cheap , warm and it REALLY keeps the moist away from your body. I am a hiker and cotton it's very good for hot temperatures because your sweat keeps you fresh but not for cold or freezing temperatures. Sunscreen or sunblock 24/7, a good hat or beanie, sunglasses (please protect your eyes) drink water, smart layering is a great idea and also bring energy foods with ya...... have a smart work out ....

Annemarie W.
Annemarie L7 years ago


Jennifer S.
Jennifer A7 years ago