How To Tell If It's Too Cold To Workout Outside This Winter

Photographed By Caroline Tompkins.
As niche workouts come and go, the tried-and-true outdoor workout, whether it be a run, ride or anything else under the sun (or moon), has proven that it's here to stay. Most of us have enjoyed a late fall run as the leaves are changing or a fun HIIT workout on the beach. But what happens when winter creeps in, it's dark for over half the day and there's snow everywhere?
Luckily, if working out outside is your thing, it doesn't need to stop just because temps fall below zero. Exercise physiologist and program director for the Orlando Track Shack Foundation Susan Paul told Women's Health that it's actually safe to workout outdoors until the thermometer hits 20 degrees below zero. After it gets below that, may we suggest hot yoga?
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In the article, Paul advised to wear moisture-wicking fabrics to make sure you stay cold and dry. But don't go grabbing your parka! If you're working up a sweat outside you have the potential to feel about 2o degrees warmer. Although hats, gloves and warm socks are endorsed.
However, there are some safety precautions to keep in mind before grabbing your leggings and hitting the snow. First, windchill makes everything worse — in temps below -15 combined with windchill, exposed skin can get frostbitten in under 30 minutes. Frostbite starts with numbness, followed by tingling or burning. If you think that's happening to you, don't work it out. Head back inside and put the area under lukewarm water.
Next, the rain and wind are not your friends. The body has trouble managing its temp when it's soaking wet. Don't make it harder for your body when you're already going through a grueling workout.
Listen to your body last but not least. There are many other alternatives to working out outside, but if your heart is set on a scenic countryside jog, then just refer to our tips above for a semi-enjoyable experience.
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