Running is a great way to exercise, but it can be a difficult lifestyle to maintain in the winter months. Thankfully, there are plenty of ways for you to safely run outside, even when it gets cold! First, make sure that you’re layering your clothing properly whenever you head outdoors. Additionally, take all necessary steps to guarantee your safety while you’re out among the elements, like wearing a reflective vest or putting on some sunscreen.
Wearing the Right Clothing
Start by putting on a comfortable base layer.Choose a shirt made out of synthetic material that doesn’t chafe against your skin. Since this is the first layer of clothing that you’ll be wearing, be sure to choose a material that won’t absorb your sweat and feel uncomfortable after you’ve been exercising.
Avoid shirts made of cotton, as these absorb sweat easily. Try materials made of polyester or polypropylene instead.
Layer something warmer, like fleece, on top your base clothing.Insulate yourself by putting a warmer top over your first layer. Remember that the goal is to stay warm so that you can be as comfortable as possible when you’re running in the cold.
If you don’t have any fleece on hand, try wool instead.
Tip:Try underdressing for whatever winter weather awaits you. Although you’ll feel cold at first, your body will quickly warm up as you exercise. You don’t want to end up overheating during your run!
Complete your outfit with a wind-resistant jacket.Protect yourself from any gusts of wind by wearing a thin windbreaker over your base shirt and fleece layer. Choose a jacket that’s on the larger side, as you’ll be fitting it over several bulky layers of clothing. If possible, try to choose a color that’s somewhat reflective.
If you want to give your head extra protection against the elements, look into a windbreaker that has a hood.
Slide on some thick socks to keep your feet insulated.Keep your feet toasty by pulling on some long wool socks. If you live in a place that gets less snow and ice, opt for socks made of slightly thinner material. Whenever you purchase running shoes, make sure that they fit over the socks you plan on wearing.
Put on gloves that are lined with fleece.Prevent frostbite when you run by sliding on some lined gloves. Try to choose a material that’ll keep your fingers insulated and warm while you exercise. If your gloves don’t have a soft material on the inside, that’s okay—what matters most is that they keep your hands from being exposed to the elements.
If you want your hands to be even toastier, try wearing mittens instead.
Keep your head and ears covered whenever you go outside.Regulate your body temperature when you exercise in the cold by keeping your head and ears warm at all times. Keep in mind that during cold weather, your blood flow is centralized in your chest, which provides less warmth to your head. To provide extra support to your exposed face, try wearing a scarf as well.
If you live in an especially cold area, consider wearing a ski mask to keep your skin covered at all times.
Preventing Accidents and Injury
Stay hydrated whenever you go for a run in the winter.Keep drinking water, regardless of the temperature outside. Even if the air temperature doesn’t feel overwhelmingly hot, continue to drink water as you exercise. Bring a water bottle with you whenever you work out, so it’s easier and more convenient for you to stay hydrated.
Listen to your body—if you feel dehydrated, there’s a good chance that you are.
Get warmed up for 5 minutes before you start running.Prepare for your run ahead of time by getting your body moving inside of your home. Although it’s tempting to start your workout as soon as possible, make sure that you take a moment to get your blood flowing and your muscles moving. If you don’t prepare your body before going outside, you could be setting yourself up for an injury.
For instance, try doing some mountain climbers or burpees to get your blood pumping ahead of time!
Wear sneakers with good traction for the ice and snow.Stay safe by investing in the proper winter running gear. Look for sneakers or trainers that are designed for a variety of tough terrains, or models that have grips on the bottom of the shoe. Above all, make sure that you’re prioritizing traction, as this will be keeping you safe in icy conditions.
If you live in an especially icy area, consider investing in ice picks that attach to the bottom of your shoes.
Put on a reflective item of clothing so that people can see you.Make yourself visible in cloudy and snowy weather by donning a bright, reflective jacket or vest. For maximum effectiveness, invest in reflective tape, along with a wide variety of bright or fluorescent garments. Don’t be afraid to overdo it; when you’re running in the wintertime, there’s no such thing as being too visible!
Tip:If you’re running at night, try including a headlamp in your exercise ensemble. You’ll be able to see better, and nearby drivers will also be able to spot you more easily.
Apply sunscreen to any exposed skin.Keep in mind that the cold temperatures of winter can be misleading, as the sun’s dangerous rays are still out and about long after summer ends. While most of your skin will be covered, apply a layer of sunscreen to any part of your body that’s still directly exposed to sunlight. Generally, try to focus on rubbing sunblock on your neck and facial area.
Aim to use a sunscreen that has an SPF of at least 30.
If you really don’t want to worry about sunscreen, wear a scarf or ski mask that covers the bulk of your face.
Run on a treadmill when the weather is bad.Invest in a treadmill or other piece of indoor aerobic equipment for days when the roads and sidewalks are especially slick. Don’t feel pressured to exercise outside if it’s actively snowing, or if the temperature is especially low. Instead, maintain your workout regimen by going on the treadmill for 30 minutes or so!
If you want to save money on sports equipment, think about joining a gym!
Things You’ll Need
Wearing the Right Clothing
Hat or earmuffs
Preventing Accidents and Injury
Reflective jacket or vest
Set workout goals for yourself in the winter by registering for races in early spring.
If you’re feeling particularly unmotivated to work out, consider making afitness planfor yourself. Additionally, try asking a friend or family member to run with you if you need some extra encouragement
Don’t feel like you constantly have to be running. If it’s easier for you, feel free to start off at a walking pac