Cold Weather Workouts—How to Stay Fit When It’s Cold

Now that it’s colder, it may seem more difficult to stay on track with your health and fitness goals. Good news—that doesn’t have to be the case.

Woman and man running outside, tips for staying fit during the cold months

You can still workout in the winter and accomplish your fitness goals, whether it’s losing weight or conditioning for recreation league sports.

Here are a few ideas that you can implement to stay fit despite the cold:

Outdoor cold weather workouts

Cold weather workouts may be difficult since the sun isn’t shining, but they can still be done. Here are a few pointers when you’re heading out the door to get your blood pumping:

Dress in layers

Wearing an extra layer will help your body stay warm and move more efficiently as you work out in the cold. Fabrics such as polypropylene are a good choice since they are breathable and make it possible for heat to escape. Experts also recommend wearing gloves and headgear such as a beanie to keep extremities warm.  

Break a sweat before stepping outside

You’re more likely to be injured when you haven’t warmed up properly. A dynamic, full-body warm-up before you leave your home for your workout will loosen up your joints. Do exercises that activate multiple muscles at the same time such as squats and pushups. As you do these exercises to warm up, focus on proper form. Don’t rush your warm-up routine.


Although it may not be hot outside, you can still get dehydrated. Don’t wait to drink water and take in fluids until your workout is over. Choose to hydrate throughout the day instead. To make it easier to hydrate, bring a reusable bottle that you can refill and drink throughout the day whether you’re at the office or at home.

Some outdoor exercises you can participate in when it’s cold outside include running—if the roads are clear—and hiking with a partner. If there’s enough snowfall, consider skiing or snowshoeing.

Related: Your Winter Workout Survival Guide

Indoor cold weather workouts

There will be times it’s too cold to exercise outdoors. It’s better to work out indoors than risk injury when there’s a blizzard happening outside your window. Depending on your goals, here are different exercises that help work specific muscle groups:

  • Upper body: Pullups, pushups, bicep curls, military press, dips, seated rows
  • Core: Sit ups, crunches, plank
  • Lower body: Lunges, reverse lunges, air squats, wall sits
  • Full body: Burpees, deadlifts

To help you recover properly from your workouts, work in foam rolling and yoga. Both activities will help you stay limber and prevent your joints from tightening up. Foam rolling and yoga will also help you avoid injuries and speed up post-workout recovery time.

Don’t let the lower temperatures stop you from achieving your health and fitness goals. You can stay on track all year long, no matter the weather is like.

While you’re here, check out our other healthy living articles.

Related: Tips for Keeping Your Skin and Hair Healthy in the Winter

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