4FR for Getty Images
4FR for Getty Images

Whoever timed New Year’s resolutions to coincide with the coldest months of the year has a cruel sense of humor! If exercising outside is your best bet for keeping fit and giving yourself a break from working inside in the salon all day, don’t give up walking or running outdoors just because the frost is building up on your ear buds. You do need to watch the slipperiness underfoot—falling on ice is a real possibility if you’re running on sidewalks, and it’s hard to do hair with a broken wrist!


But if the ground is dry or the temps are at least in the mid-30s, go for it! Writing in Advocate Health Care’s Health eNews, Dr. Joshua Alpert has some good suggestions for you.


Dress in layers.

Layer closest to you—wicking material to pull moisture away from your body. No cotton!

Next layers—anything you can easily remove as your body heats up.

Outer layer—waterproof and wind-breaking.

Hats, scarves, gloves—start out with them and shed as needed.



Your body is sweating even when you’re cold, so you need to hydrate as much as ever. 


Carb up.

With your muscles working harder when the temps drop, you may need to add carbohydrates to your diet to stay adequately fueled.


Slow down.

Decreasing the speed or intensity of your workout will give your body time to adjust to lower temperatures as it uses more energy to perform the same amount of work it could do in warm weather.


Don’t compromise form.

Resist the natural urge to curl up or slouch forward to protect your body from the cold; maintaining good posture will help guard against injury.


Recognize hypothermia.

Stop exercising and get help if you have any early signs of hypothermia—weakness, shivering, fatigue, slurred speech, dizziness or confusion.


Rest when necessary.

Don’t power through a bad cold or flu when your body will benefit more from some time under the covers.

For reprint and licensing requests for this article, Click here.