Want to run or walk outside? Cold symptoms—and cold air—don't have to keep you sidelined. Just read this stay-warm guide first.
How weather makes you winded
Winter can make outdoor exercise a real drag. That's because cold air causes your chest to tighten, your nose to drip, and your throat to clog up with mucus, making breathing more uncomfortable. The upside: Getting moving will help your congestion.
Slowly ease into outside exercise with a 10-minute walk first. This will help acclimate your lungs to the weather and fend off symptoms, says Asa Andrew, MD, author of Empowering Your Health.
The right gear
Once you really get moving, you'll create your own heat. Unfortunately, it'll escape through any skin that isn't covered up, so use sweat-wicking fabrics (like polyester blends or merino wool) to pull cooling sweat away from your body and preserve more heat in your hands, body, and head. You should also cover your mouth with either a scarf or balaclava. Yeah, you'll get a clammy feeling between your mouth and the scarf, but that'll actually help keep the air you breathe moist. Think of it as a natural humidifier!
Prone to asthma?
If so, discuss your workout regimen with your doctor first, since the cold temperature can trigger asthma attacks. But don't worry—with the right meds, you can keep up your outdoor activity.