Running in the winter can be very difficult because of the freezing weather and it can scare you away from your routine outdoor runs. Not to worry, this challenge can be overcome by these simple tips we have compiled to ensure you enjoy yourself and stay warm while running.
Ways To Stay Warm While Running
Running is a great way to stay healthy and in shape, but it can be difficult to do when the weather outside is cold. If you want to keep running during these colder months, then there are several ways that you can stay warm while doing so.
One thing that you should consider wearing while running is a fleece jacket or sweatshirt because they will help insulate your body from the cold air around it and keep your core temperature up.
This helps you face that biting cold that tends to stiffen the muscles and joints and make it less enjoyable for you. Here is what 10-15 minutes of indoor warm-up exercises  will do.
It will raise your body temperature to reduce the impact of the cold on your system when you step out and allow an increase in the blood flow to the muscles, making them more flexible and able to work as hard as possible without tightening up.
Wear Multi-layered Clothes
It’s better to wear multi-layered clothes to protect oneself from the cold of the winter and to keep warm, you have to wear as many layers as you can. But there is a tip to doing this not to become too heavy or feel too hot while running. Make sure your base layer, which is closest to your body, is made up of a material that will quickly wick away sweat accumulated by the other layers, thereby keeping you warm and dry.
An example of such wicking material is propylene or silk. The second layer should have a little wicking property while retaining some air to keep you warm. The primary need for layering is to keep you warm, but in case you become too hot, you can take off a layer or two to maintain a pleasant temperature.
Cover Your Extremes (Hand, Feet, And Head).
The hands, feet, and head are most susceptible to cold and may go numb due to lack of circulation. Exposure to these parts of the body can cause the body to lose heat through them. Therefore there must be a careful selection of gloves, socks, hats, and even running shoes.
- Gloves: You must choose insulating gloves or ones that wick away moisture. Surgery gloves can also be an option if standard gloves do not perform best in keeping your hands out from the cold.
- Socks: Socks made of cotton will keep the moisture in, leave your feet wet, and cause blisters. Socks made of wicking fabrics such as acrylic or wool will be better options to keep the feet dry.
- Shoes: To keep moving, we must avoid puddles, snow. Running shoes with little mesh will work very well because it prevents moisture from getting into the shoe. Wearing shoes slightly larger than your regular shoe is always ideal since the feet swell during running, thereby causing more chill, or you can consider waterproof boots.
- Head: Always remember to protect your head and ear with a suitable fleece, hat, or headband. Also, consider applying petroleum jelly or protective balm.
Running in cold weather could be very deceptive because you may think there is no need to drink because of the cold. When you run in the cold, there is a high risk of dehydration because the cold dries out your throat. Though you will lose fewer liquids during winter, sipping water or an energy drink is very helpful during and after the run.
Avoid Gasping For Air
It is imperative to avoid strenuous exercises that will leave us gasping for air, which will only make you feel cold as the cold air goes directly to the bronchioles and lungs. It is better to inhale through the nose to warm up the air before it gets to the lungs, and it is advisable to keep the breathing steady and slow.
Change Into Dry Post-run Clothes
To avoid cases of chills after running due to a drop in your temperature. You must bring warm clothes to change into after running, especially if you are not going to have your shower immediately. Change your sweaty clothes from head to toes as soon as possible.
Winter can be dreadful and pretty much unpredictable which is why You have to provide extra clothing to cover up for any situation, especially if you are running long distances. It is also expedient to have a warm shower or a hot cup of tea.
Wear Long, Warm Running Pants
Many times, winter runners still put on shorts. This is a very bad idea especially while running in the cold. This is because cold affects the muscles by making them contracting with less force, thereby reducing your performance. Long warm running pants do this; they keep you warm during the winter run.
Fuel your run by eating carbohydrates
Eating carbohydrates before and during your race helps refill your energy since carbohydrates and sugars generate energy and heat. They are an excellent way to fight off cold. Running out of glucose and glycogen could result in ending the run abruptly. Eating nuts, bars, or gels during your run will help the muscles and brain cells to use up these carbohydrates.
After-run Warm-up And Stretches
This has proven too helpful because once you stop running, the body’s metabolism rate starts to drop, which could expose you to chills and hypothermia. A warm-up, which could be having a warm bath or changing into warm, dry clothes and sipping warm drinks, could help at the end of the run.
Stretching the body after exercise will help slow down the rate at which your body cools down and help regulate the body temperature and keep you from muscle chills.
You don’t have to stop running because of the winter. Follow these tips, and you will not only be on track but will have fun keeping fit and doing what you love.
- Bost On Magazine [Link]