Too Cold to Exercise? Try Another Excuse

Have you ever wondered if it’s too cold to go out and exercise? I know I have. Well, that was before I read this.

“The big question was, ‘Is it ever too cold?’” Dr. Castellani said. “The answer is no. People go to the poles, people are out there when it’s minus-50 degrees, people do incredible things, and safely. There really isn’t a point where you can tell people it is not safe anymore.”

“Dr. Timothy Noakes, an exercise physiologist at the University of Cape Town in South Africa who was a reviewer of that position paper, even supervised a swimmer, Lewis Gordon Pugh, who swam 1 km or (.62 miles) in 19 minutes at the North Pole last July, in water that was between 29 and 32 degrees.”

The problem with exercising in the cold, exercise physiologists say, is that people may be hobbled by myths that lead them to overdress or to stop moving, risky things to do.

Some worry that cold air will injure their lungs or elicit asthma symptoms. Or they are convinced that they are more susceptible to injury when it is cold and that they have to move more slowly — forget about sprinting or running at a fast clip.

But lungs are not damaged by cold, said Kenneth W. Rundell, the director of respiratory research and the human physiology laboratory at Marywood University in Scranton, Pa. No matter how cold the air is, by the time it reaches your lungs, it is body temperature, he explained. More here.

2 responses to “Too Cold to Exercise? Try Another Excuse

  1. This article is right on the mark. I know because I live in a frozen tundra. Being a native Texan I quickly learned life goes on in Minnesota. My husband taught me to walk faster because there’s always someplace warm to go.
    I love the cold. I do as much outdoors when it’s 20 below as I would in 80 degrees. We camp, walk, hike, ride bikes, skate and play in the snow.
    The only thing that still kind of freaks me out is when it’s so cold my nose hair freezes. I know that’s hard to imagine if you’ve never been in -20 temps.
    Gotta go walk some dogs, it’s already 5 degrees today.

  2. I played football at Lees-McRae College. It starts snowing in October and doesn’t stop until the very beginning of April. So we would practice outside in the snow every day.

    Once we were moving good, we were warm and sweating. The hardest part was at the end of practice. The coach would want us to gather around, take a knee and listen to his little pep talk. That’s when we got cold again.

    All we wanted to do was go in the locker room!


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