Working out in cold weather isn’t so bad—you just have to strategize. Here are three key tips to prepare you for braving the great, chilly outdoors.
Dress in Layers
When you know you’re going to work up a sweat, it’s tempting to just throw on a long-sleeved shirt and pants and suck up the chilliness for the first few minutes. But not so fast—for a cold weather workout, it’s smarter to wear multiple layers of lightweight, breathable fabrics that are easy to remove as you start to get warm. The number of layers you’ll need depends on the intensity of your physical activity and that day’s temperature; each quarter-inch of clothing adds one layer of insulation, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. One more thing: Your outermost layer should be water-repellent, in case it begins to rain or snow.
Protect Yourself from the Sun
Another crucial thing to put on before going outside: sunscreen. To protect your skin against damaging UV rays, the Food and Drug Administration recommends wearing a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30. (Here are eight great options.) While you’re at it, put on a sturdy pair of UV-blocking sunglasses for your eyes and a lip balm with SPF for your kisser.
Warm Up Indoors
All suited up? Before heading out into the cold, do your usual warm-up inside: stretch, jog in place, jump rope, or do jumping jacks in order to get your blood flowing and heart rate up. Keep it simple, and aim for about ten minutes. This means less time spent outdoors and, since you’re already warmed up, a softer blow when you step into the frigid temps.