Can You Run Outside in the Winter Months?

Guess what I just did?

Let me word that another way. Guess what this asthmatic just did outside on the first day of February?

And, YES, it was snowing.
Here’s a clue: It’s something this 48-year-old asthmatic has never done before.

Give up?

I went for a run.

This is a major feat for this asthmatic. It's a major feat because I have exercise-induced asthma. 

As a kid, my asthma was so bad I wasn't allowed to run. I had doctor's notes to get out of gym class.

Today, 30 years later, I take Advair and Singulair. These medicines do wonders for my asthma control.

But, even so, I never could exercise in cold air. I set a rule once not to exercise outdoors if it was less than 50 degrees.

Well, today, it's 32 degrees. And I ran. I ran outside. I ran on the snow covered path at Cartier Park.

I attempted it because I got bored of the treadmill.

Granted I cannot sprint. I had to pace myself. But I did it. I succeeded. I did my 20-minute aerobic activity for the day. And I did it out in the snow.


It was so beautiful in Cartier Park today. It was so nice. Yes, it was cold. But, it was a good day for a run.

Like I said, I had to pace myself. There was no sprinting. But, I was able to complete a nice slow run.

Sure, you can call it a jog if you want. Fine, you can call it a wog.

Big deal!

Here I have asthma and I’m exercising outdoors in the winter. That’s a big deal to me.

This is especially true since I never ran before I was 30. And even when I started running, I learned quickly that I had to run in warm air. Cold air is dry. It irritates asthmatic airways. It is likely to trigger asthma. And it still does. This still happens.

But my asthma is controlled now. This inflammation in my airways is still there, but it’s diminished quite a bit. My airways are far less sensitive than they used to be. And, when I experience asthma, symptoms are generally mild. I get mild shortness of breath. I get mild chest tightness. And it easily goes away with time or treatment.

But today I ran outside in the snow. This was possible because of modern asthma medicine. It’s possible because of modern asthma wisdom. It’s possible because I work with my doctor to obtain and maintain good asthma control.

This is yet another good example of what it’s like to have good asthma control. I almost feel normal today. I almost feel like I don’t have asthma.

I have been working so hard to get to this point. I have been a very compliant asthmatic (well, I'm not perfect). I take my medicine every day (well, sometimes I do forget, you know). I see my doctor regularly. I began a weight loss and workout program in June of 2015. I have lost 30 pounds in the process. I have gotten in good shape.

Trust me when I say I started slow and worked myself up to this.

I’m not bragging. I’m not being arrogant here. I’m just proud of this accomplishment. Have you ever had an asthma accomplishment like this? Can you run outside in the winter months? Let us know in the comments below.

By providing your email address, you are agreeing to our privacy policy. We never sell or share your email address.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

Join the conversation

or create an account to comment.