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Should You Still Be Running Outside?

You love to run outside, and you’re dreading the thought of running on a treadmill. However, you’re starting to think it might be getting too cold for that jog outside. You lace your shoes up anyways and head out of your warm cozy home…

Is it safe? Is there such thing as being too cold to workout outside?

Most of us probably realize that there comes a point in the winter time where it is too cold to do activities outside in fear of damaging our lungs, frostbite, or causing muscle injuries.  Extra caution needs to be taken by those who suffer from asthma, Raynaud’s Syndrome, or heart disease.

According to an article written on the, as long as you’re healthy and used to working out in the cold, there isn’t really a temperature that’s too cold. However, some experts say that at -18 degrees Fahrenheit, your chances of getting hypothermia or frostbite increase.  It is important to always take the wind into consideration as well when looking at the temperature outside.

So how do we combat the cold if we want to get out there and run?  Make sure and dress appropriately! Runner’s World put together a great list of layer recommendations based on temperature ranges. Gloves and a hat are ALWAYS advised along with moisture-wicking materials for both outer and inner layers.

  • 30 degrees:2 tops (base layer and a vest), 1 bottom (tights)
  • 10 to 20 degrees:2 tops (base and outer layer), 2 bottoms (tights and wind pants)
  • 0 to 10 degrees: 3 tops (base, mid and outer layer), 2 bottoms (tights and wind pants)
  • -10 to 0 degrees: 3 tops (base, mid and outer layer), 2 bottoms (tights and wind pants), extra pair of gloves, scarf or balaclava
  • -20 degrees: 3 tops (base, mid and outer layer), 3 bottoms (tights, sweats and wind pants), 2 extra pairs of gloves, scarf or balaclava

Some other advice to consider when working out outside in the cold

  1. Run less of a distance – this way if you get too cold you will be close to home.
  2. Run with a friend – there is always safety in numbers when it comes to the cold.
  3. Start your run running into the wind – when you turn around to go home, you will have the wind at your back.
  4. Don’t force working out outside – make sure you’re comfortable, you may have to move your workout inside… that’s okay!

Do not forget that Omaha Physical Therapy Institute provides specialized care for runner’s!  Call today!  We can help!

Blog contributor:  Marquette Pick, Marketing Coordinator at Omaha Physical Therapy Institute