Though, there are several health benefits of winter exercise. In particular, winter running burns more calories, strengthens your heart, and makes you feel more positive and energized. If you’d like to give winter running a try, we have some tips for you.
1. Wear the appropriate apparel
When running in winter, it’s important to dress appropriately and comfortably. Light layering is key. Fitness Magazine recommends having your first layer be made of synthetic material which wicks moisture away from your skin. Second layer should be made with insulating material such as merino wool and fleece. Lastly, the top layer should be windproof and waterproof.
A warm toque, mittens, technical socks and running shoes should also be worn. If you plan on running during the evening, wear a reflective vest or flashing lights to be seen in the dark.
2. Make time for extra warming up and stretching
Our bodies warm up much slower in colder temperatures. Spend at least five minutes to warm up beforehand. Or you can put clothes in the dryer for a few minutes before heading out to provide more heat. Spend more time stretching after the run to bring your heart rate down, help prevent muscle pain and reduce injury risk.
3. Run with a buddy
Bring your pet, invite a friend or join a running group to brave winter wonderland together. If you are scheduled to meet someone, you should become more motivated to run. It is also safer to run in numbers.
4. Protect yourself from the sun
Sunscreen and shades will be needed for a sunny winter run. The reflection from the bright snow can potentially cause a sunburn. Make sure the sunglasses are suited for active wear and will remain on your face while running.
5. Icy conditions
While on your winter run, you may encounter icy patches and sidewalks. Try to avoid this by running around the ice, or make sure your running shoes have a stronger tread pattern. Black ice is less visible to the human eye, and it’s possible you could take a nasty fall from it. Treads on your shoes will help support you on slick winter streets.
6. Be safe
When going for a run, always carry identification and a cell phone with you. Let a family member or friend know about your route and approximate return time. With cold winter conditions, it’s important to take extra precautions.
Happy winter running!