It’s Getting Colder! 5 Tips for Staying Safe & Warm During Outdoor Activity

I don’t know about you guys, but here in Louisville it was fall last week. It’ll be fall next week too, but this week? It’s winter… at least it feels like it outside! Temps have literally been around freezing and that can put a huge damper on your level of enjoyment for outdoor activities. I hate being cold, but over the years have been able to take the right precautions in order to be able to keep enjoying my outdoor activities, without freezing my buns off and risking hypothermia. Whether you’re a runner, cyclist, climber, or just enjoy being outdoors in the colder months, here are five tips to help you stay safe and warm during your outdoor activities:

1. Dress for it!
If you’ll be getting your heart rate up, you need sweat-wicking materials! The better fabrics you have, the warmer/safer you’ll be. My man-friend has a saying about being cold during cold-weather activity: “If you’re cold, you’re either broke… or you don’t know any better.” It’s true. When I was younger I had no clue how to dress. I was always freezing and hated being outside during winter. I had no idea that jeans and cotton hoodies were part of the problem. When it comes to athletic outdoor activity, cotton is the devil! Later, when I knew better, I was too broke to afford to buy clothes made of sweat-wicking and wind-blocking materials, synthetic tops/bottoms, and jackets filled with down feathers. If you’re somewhat financially stable, investing in the right clothing and outerwear will make such a difference! You’ll enjoy being outside during any weather and though they’re more expensive, the right clothes will last you many years!

2. Cover your head, hands and feet! 
Since most of your body heat escapes through your head, hands, and feet, it’s good to keep these areas covered. For my dome, I like this ear-warming headband and this hat (great for chicks who’ll need a hat that works with ponytails) from Lululemon.  These  North Face running gloves (to keep your hands just warm enough and still able to operate the touch screen on your phone or mp3 player) are also my jam.

3. Don’t layer too much! 
This is something I always have to remind myself of. I hate being cold so over dressing is always tempting. The last thing you want to do though is break a sweat in chilly temps. If you’re like me and know you’ll want to wear too much, do 10-15 minutes of warmup and bodyweight activity before you go outside. You’ll already be warm so won’t want to put more layers. Once you go outside you’ll know if you have the right amount of clothing/gear on to keep you warm enough, but not sweaty.

4. Pay attention to your surroundings. 
If it’s been freezing temperatures in your area, there are likely to be wet or frozen areas around you. Make sure you watch where you step, run, jump to avoid any falls. Nobody wants to spend the holidays injured. And please, if you’re with your buddies, don’t stick to your tongue to anything frozen on a dare. Even if it’s a triple-dog-dare… Who knew there was so much to learn from A Christmas Story?!

5. Double check your health conditions.
Like with most physical activity, it’s good to check with your doc beforehand to make sure there’s nothing that will harm you (or your kiddos!) while playing or working out outside. Cold weather can exacerbate some conditions like asthma or other lung issues (A few years ago I had to avoid all outdoor activities when I had bronchitis in December and January… #buzzkill). It’s better to be safe than sorry, so know before you go!

Now I gotta go layer up to take Tango out… ; ) 
Happy Friday! 
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  1. Great post Ami! I really like the suggestion of 15 minutes of body weight activity to determine the right clothing amount.

  2. SUCH good notes – i learned the hard way that you need wicking even in winter!

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