May I run at freezing temperatures?

Granted, it’s not always pleasant to walk in extreme cold. It still raises the question of whether it is dangerous to go jogging at minus degrees and from which temperature running at minus temperatures can really be dangerous.


Run at minus temperatures

Running at minus temperatures is not for everyone. Although one feels good afterwards, because despite adverse circumstances, the inner bastard has defeated and sports in cold weather can also strengthen the immune system, but not everyone manages to put on the running shoes and make a round through the park.

In addition to icy temperatures you can hear every now and then the warning that sports in the fresh air at minus temperatures should be dangerous. Therefore, many prefer to transfer the training to the gym, where they can do sports in more comfortable conditions.

When cold improves performance

In our latitudes there is little danger of risking his health in outdoor sports due to the cold. At least temperatures down to around minus 15 degrees can not harm the body. In the short term, extreme cold can even improve performance.

There are cold rooms in which temperatures of about 120 degrees below 0 prevail. As part of a project supervised by the Universities of Dortmund and M√ľnster, athletes had to wait a short time before the Beijing Olympics before they had to make a quick endurance run. After around 6 months, their performance was significantly improved. The reason for this was an improved blood redistribution and improved oxygenation. In this respect, extreme cold can even be performance enhancing.

The stay in the Polarium is not really pleasant. In any case, amateur athletes will only rarely have the opportunity to try out such a cold chamber. Not to mention a longer therapy. For the amateurs, therefore, rather the question arises, when it is too cold to run.

Here, only the health aspects play a role and not the partially dangerous conditions such as icy paths or the early onset of darkness. This can ensure that you do not see bumps and therefore easily kinks. Or one is overlooked by other road users, even when running with lights or reflectors.

Running in extreme cold: When does it get dangerous?

In addition to the cold that can be felt on the skin, it is primarily the lungs that can suffer from the cold. But for that to happen, it has to be really cold. From around -10 to -12, at the latest at 15 degrees below 0 it can become unhealthy. From these temperatures, the organism can no longer sufficiently warm the air before it reaches the lungs. There is no longer any cloth that could be tied to your mouth. In addition, from these temperatures, the alveoli are irritated. On the other hand, you do not have to be afraid of frostbite or other damage to health until that point.

In fact, sports, especially at low temperatures, strengthens the immune system, which is trained by switching from warm to cold conditions, and does not harm health. During sports a day, thanks to the sun’s rays, the organism can also produce more vitamin D. However, one should not exaggerate it with the intensity. In winter, basic units without high peak loads are better, since bronchial tubes, mucous membranes and pulmonary vessels are heavily loaded during strenuous exercise and with increasing cold.


As long as you warm up during sports (keyword: onion layer principle), best wearing appropriate functional clothing and after the sport does not remain sweaty in the cold, you can even in temperatures down to -15 degrees in the fresh air sports, as long as you feel fit and healthy enough for it.

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