How to Make the Most of the Cold Winter Months

Man running in the forest in winter time

You know winter has officially arrived when you contemplate skipping a run altogether because you can’t find your running tights.

That’s what happened to me last week, and I have a feeling I wasn’t the only one impatiently digging through a closet contemplating the cold.

In today’s episode, Matt and I share our survival guide for how to get through the cold winter months. We tackle everything from running in the cold, to indoor exercise options for those that don’t want to brave the elements, to using winter to set the stage for the coming year.

Here’s what we talk about in this episode:

  • The indoorsman’s guide to running through winter
  • Staying active without leaving your house
  • What does Doug wear in the sauna?
  • Why we should expose ourselves to winter’s elements
  • Indulging in warming comfort foods
  • Using winter to lay your habit foundation

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  1. I listen to these while running at -13C (8.6F) here in Calgary, Canada. This is the third winter I’ve been running outside. I’ve run down to -25C (-13F) but the wind makes it feel colder. I love winter running. I love the peace of running when it’s snowing or through ice fog, especially because it’s so quiet when I go out at 4-6am. Keeping extremities warm is key. Today my hands were too cold – I’ll need to wear ski gloves or mitts over my running gloves next time. I use a buff band too as you mentioned. I also have a super thin wool base layer that I use below -10C or if I’m just going for a short run and feeling soft. I also run with clear glasses as my eyes hate cold wind. They have foam around the edges to seal against my face. I find winter running so refreshing and energizing. It’s just about the hardest thing I do all day (and that’s saying something considering I have 3 kids 0,3,5). It’s also the time I listen to podcasts and have time to myself to just think or not think at all. Btw a great exercise program for winter that requires almost no equipment (stability ball and pair of Dumbbells) is fit yummy mummy by holly rigsby. I started it about 2.5mths ago and my strength has dramatically increased. That and 30 burpees a day;)

  2. Almost forgot. I read this yesterday about link between strength exercising and vitality, not sure if it translates to longevity.

    “Being muscular signals to your body that you are still needed on the planet, so to keep you as young and vital as possible.

    More specifically, a higher muscle to fat ratio tells your body that you are at a vital part of your life.

    So part of being as youthful as we can, is exercising in a way that builds muscle.

    Just being thin is NOT ideal.”

  3. I totally agree with the idea that a build-up to a New Year’s resolution works better than starting from zero on January 1st. Three years ago I decided to make a daily yoga practice my resolution, but I had never done it before and was somewhat intimidated by starting something new alone. I had a cheap 20min beginner’s yoga DVD and decided I would devote just those few minutes each day to it leading up to the new year, which was maybe two weeks away, and decide on NYE if it was something I could actually keep up. Those 20mins a day for two weeks gave me the confidence to take up yoga seriously in the new year and three years later I’m still practicing nearly every day. I don’t think I would have stuck with yoga if I had gone in with the mindset of “You must sign up for classes January 1st and stick to it for a whole year OR ELSE!” because that kind of dogmatic approach just makes me want to find excuses not to do it.

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