Work Out

tips for running in cold weather

This post may contain affiliate links. For more information, please see the terms page.

Mercifully, the oppressive winter weather held off a bit longer than normal. Not so mercifully, it’s finally here with a vengeance. Especially now that I’m spending lots of time in Chicago, I’m finding the idea of going outside to do something impossible. The last thing I really want to do is head outside for a run. Cap the weather off with asthma, which makes my lungs misbehave in cold weather even if I’m standing still, and I’m definitely not going anywhere. I’ve found a few ways over the years to manage this and make it a little more bearable to head outside to get active in the winter months!

  • If you are an asthmatic, use your albuterol before you go outside. That way, the medicine can start working sooner in order to open your airway before it starts to get inflamed.
  • Start working out inside so your body can get warmed up and acclimated to activity, so it’s not working overtime to get used to the motion and cold air at the same time. Run up and down some stairs, do a set of jumping jacks, or even a quick Blogilates song to get your airways warm and your blood circulating.
  • Even though winter is prime time to train for a spring PR, don’t try to push your speed on an outdoor workout. The extra effort can flare your lungs up and you’ll find yourself gasping for air and fighting with phlegm. Instead, do easier workouts outside, and tempo runs on indoor tracks or treadmills.
  • Be sure to check in with your body before, during, and after workouts. If your chest or lungs feel sensitive or sore when you take a deep breath, take a few days to rest before starting to work out again.
  • Remember to drink water: you’re still sweating, even if your body feels cold. Don’t let yourself get dehydrated just because it’s not 80 degrees out.
  • Get the right gear. I love my lululemon neck warmer to cover my nose and mouth, and it even has an adjustable cord to hold it in its proper place. If you’re in a snowy or icy area (or if you’re particularly clumsy, like me,) Yak Trax are a great investment as well!

Do you run outside in the winter, or do you move indoors like me?