When the winter months settle in, there’s no need to throw your running clothes in the back of the closet. Running can be a year-round activity given a little forethought and the proper equipment. If you’re wondering how to maintain your running routine until the warmer weather returns, here are three tips for running in the cold.
- Wear the Right Clothing
When the weather is cold, it’s important that your skin is covered. This means investing in long sleeve shirts, full-length leggings, hats, and gloves to prevent freezer burn on your skin. Be careful not to overdo it though. While it may feel cold when you first step outside, you’ll quickly warm up as you run and soon begin to sweat. This sweat will become cold because of the weather and leave you shivering and wet by the end of the run. To avoid being drenched in cold sweat, be sure to invest in breathable, sweat-wicking clothing. Proper running apparel will go a long way in protecting your skin, while also helping you avoid the downsides of cold sweat.
- Take it Indoors
While treadmills often get a bad rap, they’re great tools for those of us who don’t want to battle the cold and would prefer to run indoors. In addition, treadmills are great tools, as you are in better control of your time and pace than when you’re on the road. Save your treadmill workouts for the worst weather days of the week and put that gym membership to good use.
If the thought of a treadmill doesn’t have you eager to lace up your running shoes, remember that cross training is an important part of every running routine and is a great choice for blustery days. When it feels too cold outside to run, go inside and do some yoga, weight training, or indoor cycling. By diversifying your workouts, you’ll strengthen your muscles and be better able to evade injury.
- Warm Your Body Up Slowly
It may seem ideal to jump in a hot shower after getting back from a long run in the cold, but it’s important to resist the urge. After a sustained period of time in the cold, your body will need time to adjust to the warmer air. Do some stretching; make breakfast; focus on your cooldown routine. Spend about 10 minutes getting acclimated to the warmer weather in your house prior to taking a shower. Warming up slowly can help you avoid the skin rashes and muscle tightness that can come from a quick switch from a cold to hot climate.
There’s no need for cold weather to derail your progress as a runner. With the right equipment and a mindfulness to your body’s needs, you can choose a workout that suits your preferences. Whether you decide to brave the cold, or you opt for an indoor workout, you will feel good knowing that the weather is no match for your fitness goals.
(This article was written by Diana Fitts for Baleaf Sports. Feel free to check her site: http://betterthanalive.com/ )