The benefits of running are well known to all of us, and if you have been in the habit of training for some time, don’t let unfriendly cold weather get you down.
Even if winter has come, there is no reason to change your daily routine of activities, which includes exercising.
But it is important to follow some tips, if you run in winter, to carry out this activity safely. You need to know how to dress and what precautions to take to keep you in the good physical condition and prevent illness or accidents.
If you are determined to exercise even in the cold season, when the temperature drops well below zero, I offer below 6 tips for running in cold weather and through the snow that you must follow to keep fit.
1) What to wear when running in the cold weather
Most of the time, we don’t know how to dress properly for the outside temperature and the first impulse is to load ourselves with as many layers of clothes as possible.
But if you dress too thick, you will end up after a kilometer or two, once your body temperature rises, desperately wanting to get rid of some clothes.
Almost all body heat is lost due to unprotected extremities, such as the head or hands. A pair of gloves and a hat would help you maintain your thermal balance.
Invest in special winter running gear that absorbs perspiration and through which the body can breathe.
Here is what you should wear when running in cold weather so you can keep your body warm from top to bottom.
• Running gloves (find HERE)
• Hat for head and ear protection (find HERE)
• You can pull a mask over your face (find HERE)
• Sunglasses – will help you for snow reflections that can damage your eyesight (find HERE)
• A sunscreen, or a moisturizer
• Running socks, preferably with SmartWool technology that removes moisture and keeps feet warm
2) Do your warm-up before going outside in the cold
It matters a lot to be warmed up when you start running. Thus, you save energy because it is much harder to move your blood outside. Get ready from home, before going outside in the cold, it will catch you well!
3) Choose your route carefully
In summer you can run almost everywhere without much trouble. In winter, however, snow and low visibility can expose you to risks. It is good to have reflective accessories and to choose a route that is protected from traffic and congestion.
4) How to breathe when running in cold weather
Cold air causes problems for the respiratory system because it puts intense pressure on the lungs. Cover your mouth with a scarf to keep the moisture, you will only gain!
It is important to breathe through your mouth to inhale enough oxygen. In order not to cool your mouth instantly and to feel the cold air up to the heel, it is recommended to keep your lips slightly opened. In this situation, the amount of inhaled air gradually increases and there is enough time to warm it before it reaches the lungs.
The facial expression for this breathing technique is known as “dead fish” in the sense that the jaws are relaxed, and the lips are slightly parted.
5) Hydrate yourself
Once you find a winning formula with the equipment, don’t forget to hydrate! Regardless of the ambient temperature, you dehydrate with effort, and in the cold, the water evaporates from the body as if worse than the heatwave.
So you have to drink water before, during the race, and after you have made an effort. In the end, you can even treat yourself to a hot tea. Avoid coffee, it will dehydrate you even more.
Many feel that only heat dehydrates. Fake! The cold is much more dangerous because it cools the body, and it consumes energy and water to warm up.
6) Set a goal when you decide to run in the cold
Because it can be difficult to run in the winter, you need to set a realistic goal to accomplish. Don’t run anyhow.
If you do not train for a competition that takes place in the spring or if you have no other reason that requires a
sustained training, winter is not the best time to push your limits.
Focus more on maintaining fitness than forcing yourself to run significantly more or increase your speed. If you maintain a constant effort during the winter, spring will find you in excellent shape, without extra effort.
7 Benefits of running in the cold weather:
1. The winter temperature is optimal for running. The colder it is, the lower the body is subjected to stress during exercise. Specialists say that the optimum temperature for running is 5 degrees. Not coincidentally, most marathons in which notable performances are obtained are organized in October-November.
2. Running in winter helps us to ‘trick’ our metabolism (to no longer store fat) and to maintain our weight.
3. Running keeps our blood thin and keeps us from getting sick. Our immunity is much better.
4. We increase our comfort and resistance to cold.
5. Spring will find us in full shape, without extra effort.
6. Running on snow is more friendly for the joints than running on asphalt.
7. The things we do constantly become part of us. Running daily, regardless of the weather, we make sure that we have acquired a healthy habit that will accompany us all our lives.
Running in the cold has even more advantages than when there are many extra degrees outside. Exercising outdoors when it’s cold increases calorie intake by 12%, and the body consumes 32% more fat while maintaining body heat.
However many give up running in the cold weather for fear that they will catch a cold or they will have lung problems due to the cold air, but if you follow the tips above I guarantee it will not happen and you will be able to enjoy the benefits of running outdoors even and in the cold period.
Now all you have to do is get up from your chair, get dressed in your running gear, and get to work.
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