Skip to main content
Back to BlueNews

The Secret to Staying Active in the Cold

Let’s face it, getting motivated for a cold weather workout isn't the easiest thing to do. But it’s important to stay active through the colder months so you don’t lose your progress and can hit the ground running when things warm up again.

Of course, you can always work out at home or join a gym, but exercising outdoors offers some unique benefits. Fresh air has been shown to have a positive effect on your body and brain. Some studies also show that exercising in the cold may cause your metabolism to burn calories more efficiently. Lower temperatures also mean you sweat less and dehydrate slower.

So, what’s the secret to making it happen? It’s staying warm—and it’s easier than you think. The key is to dress in layers. Here’s a general guideline:

  • The base layer – This layer is to absorb your sweat. Avoid cotton and other natural fibers because they’re not as good at staying dry. Instead, choose synthetic fibers.
  • The middle layer(s) – This should be a thicker material to keep you warm, like fleece or wool. Depending on how cold it is, you may need multiple middle layers.
  • The outer layer – Wear a jacket that can protect you from rain, snow and/or wind.
  • Accessories – If it’s really cold, consider wearing a hat, gloves or a scarf.


Dressing in layers allows you to add or remove pieces as your body temperature changes. What you wear depends on the conditions outside and the activity you’re doing. For example, if you’re walking, you may not need a sweat-wicking base layer. Or if you’re hiking, you may feel warm and can omit some middle layers. The most important thing is to listen to how your body is feeling. Before you start a new workout routine, it’s a good idea to talk with your doctor to make sure it’s right for you.

Another important part of getting motivated when it’s cold is to recognize your achievements after each workout. Self-reinforcement is a powerful tool that can help you keep up your routine. If you’re looking for extra motivation to stay active, the Online Health Coach (OHC) can help. Eligible Standard and Basic Option members can even earn rewards for it.* You'll receive $40 for each eligible goal completed, up to three, for $120 total.

*You must be the contract holder or spouse, 18 or older, on a Standard or Basic Option Plan to earn incentive rewards.



Published on: December 09, 2021