Just because there is snow on the ground doesn’t mean that your outdoor workouts need to wait until spring rolls around. If you can get over the hurdle of stepping out into below-freezing temperatures, then you may find running outdoors in the winter to be an exhilarating and refreshing way to get your cardio in. It’s just important to remember that certain aspects of running in the cold must be handled appropriately in order to reduce the risk of injury.
Running In the Winter
Before you even step out the door, you will want to do a nice long warm-up inside in order to loosen your joints and raise your body temperature. You should also ensure that your hands and head are covered up and stay warm in the cold temperatures, as your run will get increasingly uncomfortable if your ears or fingers begin to freeze.
A base layer of long johns and long sleeve athletic tee shirts will help retain heat and wick moisture. That being said, you should dress as you would if the temperature were 20 degrees warmer. This will keep you from overheating while on your run. Water resistant shoes with good traction devices are a must, and if you find yourself running on ice, you will want to find a clear path once more.
Staying in your aerobic zone is a great rule of thumb, as your heart rate will increase due to the cold. It may feel slower than what you’re used to, but being in your aerobic zone will give you all the great benefits of a running workout without the energy expenditure that comes from sprinting. Staying hydrated and only running between thirty to sixty minutes will keep your body healthy and your immune system strong.
The hardest part of winter running can be getting out the door into the cold air the first few times. Just remember that each time you run, you will start to notice improvements in yourself and it will become second nature in no time. Chicago Chiropractic & Sports Injury Centers will be cheering you on, and if you need new orthotics to put in your winter running shoes, don’t hesitate to contact us!