Jogging Outside in Winter

The thought of being stuck jogging on indoor treadmills for months at a time can demotivate many joggers, but with the right precautions, you can still enjoy an outdoor jog even during the winter. Dressing in moderate clothes will keep you warm without overheating you. Be mindful of your external and internal conditions.

  1. Clothing Choices

    • Prevent yourself from freezing at the beginning of your jog and overheating by the end by dressing in layers. Begin with a tight, thin layer of synthetic material like polypropylene to pull the sweat away from your skin. Avoid cotton, which retains moisture. Next, add an insulating layer of fleece or wool. Finish with a light waterproof layer. Stay away from heavy down jackets that may cause you to produce too much sweat. Wear a hat to protect your ears and a scarf to warm the air before you breathe it in. Layer your gloves, wearing a thin pair beneath a heavy pair lined with insulation.

    Benefit of Winter Jogging

    • While it may seem counter-intuitive, winter jogging can actually be safer than summer jogging when done right. You have little control over how warm you get during the summer. The warmth and humidity of your environment lessens your body's ability to disperse heat, and your internal temperature can rise to dangerous degrees. The dry, cold air of winter poses less threat, and the only heat you need to worry about is that which you generate while jogging. In most cases, you can regulate this temperature by adding and removing layers as needed.


    • If you have asthma, heart problems, Raynaud's disease or another condition that affects your circulatory or respiratory systems, talk to your doctor before engaging in outdoor jogging during the winter. Always check the temperature and wind chill before going out to jog. Avoid jogging outdoors in temperatures and wind chills below zero degrees Fahrenheit, especially on extremely windy days. Inform yourself about and be alert for signs of frostbite. If your clothes get wet, change out of them immediately to avoid lowering your body temperature. Always drink plenty of fluids to ward off dehydration.

    Additional Tips

    • Jogging on the snow and ice can put stress on your ankles. Stick with clear paths or paths covered in well-packed snow to reduce this strain. Wear sunglasses and layer on sunscreen to protect yourself from UV rays. Jog with the wind to your back on the second half of your workout, especially if you worked up a sweat during the first half, in order to feel less chilled. Keep yourself motivated by designating a regular time for your jog or by inviting a friend to jog with you.

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