Knowing When It’s Too Cold to Exercise Outside

Too cold to exercise outdoors

Depending on where you live,  you could be facing some pretty frigid temperatures right now. That said, depending on the conditions, it still may be possible for you to do your workout outside, as long as you dress appropriately, wear layers, and know when it’s time to head inside. Dressing in layers is important, so you’re able to add or remove layers as necessary to adapt to changing conditions. Consider wearing at least three layers and the outermost layer should be wind-resistant.

However, there are some days when it’s simply too cold to do your workout outside and you should stay indoors.

For example, if it’s very cold, there is an increased risk of frostbite. Between 0°C and -9°C, there is a low frostbite risk. While these temperatures may be uncomfortable, if you dress for the weather and stay dry, you should be fine going outside. However, in temperatures between -10°C and -27°C, covering exposed skin is a must and, once it reaches -28°C or below, the risk of frostbite (as well as hypothermia) increases significantly. Exposed skin can get frostbitten in less than 30 minutes in this weather, so it’s wise to stay indoors as much as possible.

You’ll also want to keep the warning signs of frostbite in mind. One of the first signs is numbness, tingling or burning sensations. Frostbite usually occurs in fingers and toes, but also pay attention to your nose, ears, cheeks, and forehead as these areas can potentially get frostbitten if they are exposed to the elements.

Check the colour of your skin as well. “Frostnip” is when your skin turns red and numb. It doesn’t usually leave permanent damage, but it’s a good sign that you should cover up and head inside.

If it’s very windy or if there is rain or wet snow falling, it’s also a good idea to stay indoors. Your body has a harder time regulating temperature when it’s wet and freezing windchill can be very dangerous and make it feel much colder than the temperature on the thermometer.

Pay attention to local weather conditions and listen to your body. While an outdoor workout can be an enjoyable experience, you’ll need to pay close attention and go back inside if it gets too cold.

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