Exercising in the Cold | Carson Tahoe Health

Exercise is important for a healthy heart all year long. But during the winter months, exercising in the cold can raise the risk of angina (chest pain) or even a heart attack for some people.


If you’re out in the cold—whether on a run or shoveling snow—the low temperatures cause your blood vessels to constrict. This means your heart gets less oxygen, just when you need even more of it due to exercise. And that can lead to dangerous results.


If you’re heading outside for any vigorous activity this winter, follow these tips to lessen your risk:

  • Dress in layers
  • Always wear a hat
  • Stay hydrated
  • Warm up for 15 minutes before heading out
  • Start your exercise slowly
  • Go inside if you experience shortness of breath or heart pains
  • Stay indoors if it’s below -20°F

It’s also always a good idea to talk to your doctor about whether you’re healthy enough for cold weather exercise and if there are other weather restrictions you should monitor.

To make sure your heart is healthy enough for exercise, make an appointment with our cardiology team by calling (775) 445-7650.