Winter Exercise Tips: How to Stay Motivated During the Colder Weather

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Winter Exercise Tips: How to Stay Motivated During the Colder Weather  

Do you enjoy morning workouts? How often have you hit the snooze button on winter mornings because it was too cold to leave your warm bed? Or, if you prefer evening workouts, how often have you skipped them because it was cold and dark? 

Don’t worry, we’ve all been there. But did you know that exercising in colder weather has some great benefits? Let's run through them to help you boost your winter training mojo. 

1. No heat or humidity  

This reason tops our list. You may start exercising feeling cold, but you will finish up warm. Plus, you will also feel good once the endorphins have kicked in.1  It's much better than starting hot and finishing even hotter.  

But what about the science? When temperature and humidity levels rise, less blood flows to your muscles. As a result, your body temperature will increase, putting stress on the nervous system. This limits the intensity level you can train at and the duration of your workout.  So, exercising during winter is easier on the body because it doesn't have to deal with the extra stress that warmer temperatures can create.2

2. Help improve your immunity   

Not only does winter bring the cold weather, but it also brings the flu season. Being sick is never fun, but did you know that exercise can play a role in keeping us healthy?  

Exercising at a moderate to vigorous intensity for 30-60 minutes on most days of the week is optimal for strengthening your immune system. Moderate-intensity exercise can increase the number of immune cells in your body. This can help fight off future infections as these cells help detect infection earlier.3 This makes your body more resistant to infection and you can fight infections better.4  

Examples of moderate activities include brisk walking, cycling, swimming or strength training. Vigorous activities include running, swimming laps, heavy gardening/yard work or aerobic dancing.5   

3. Opportunity for outdoor activities   

Winter brings snow in some areas of the world, meaning we can participate in activities such as skiing, snowboarding, ice skating and tobogganing.   

5 tips to stay active during winter:   

We’ve told you the benefits. Now follow our 5 simple tips to help you stay active during the winter months.   

1. Wear layers   

Preparing correctly for exercising outdoors during the wintry weather can set you up for success. Dress appropriately by wearing layers. Layers of clothing help to trap the heat and form insulation against the elements, which can help prevent your body temperature from dropping too quickly when you first step outside.6    

 2. Exercise at the gym   

Choosing to exercise indoors at a gym facility can be a useful way to combat the cooler weather. As most gyms are indoors, you can stay dry and warm whilst you are completing your workout. 

3. Try home workouts   

Whether you enjoy high intensity workouts or relaxing yoga, there are thousands of home workouts available. This means you can stay in the warmth of your own home whilst still getting in your physical activity for the day. 

 4. Warm up   

Completing a warmup before you step outside for exercise means your muscles and brain will be more prepared for the activity. The benefits of a warmup are increased heart and respiratory rate, increased body temperature and increased mental preparation for bouts of exercise.7   

 5. Join a social group   

Joining a social group can be a wonderful way to increase participation and motivation. It can make it easier to get out in the cold when you know you have people with you. It can also be a nice way to meet new friends and stay connected to your community.       


  1. Gordon, B. R., McDowell, C. P., Hallgren, M., Meyer, J.D., Lyons, M., & Herring, M. P. (2018). Association of Efficacy of Resistance Exercise Training With Depressive Symptoms. JAMA Psychiatry. 2018 Jun 1;75(6):566-576. Retrieved from  

  2. Groen, B. B. L., Hamer, H. M., Snijders, T., van Kranenburg, J., Frijns, D., Vink, H., ... & van Loon, L. J. C. (2008). Skeletal muscle capillary density and microvascular function are compromised with aging and type 2 diabetes. Journal of Applied Physiology, 104(3), 895-901. Retrieved from  

  3. Nieman DC, Wentz LM. The compelling link between physical activity and the body's defense system. J Sport Health Sci. 2019 May;8(3):201-217. Retrieved from  

  4. American College of Sports Medicine. (2020). Exercise, Immunity and the COVID-19 Pandemic. Retrieved from  

  5. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. (2023). Exercise intensity: How to measure it. Retrieved from,yard%20work%20or%20aerobic%20dancing

  6. American Heart Association. (2024). How to stay active in cold weather. American Heart Association. Retrieved from  

  7. Annaccone, A. (2024, January 2). Warm-up in the Cold Months. National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM). Retrieved from,of%20a%20warm%2Dup%20program 

Useful resources:  

National Heart Foundation of Australia. (2024). Get active during winter. National Heart Foundation of Australia. Retrieved from: