As we approach the colder, wetter and darker days of winter, it can be very easy to let our daily exercise routines be pushed to the side and to stay snuggled up in the cozy-comforts of our homes. Just because animals go into hibernation for the winter, doesn't mean your running routine has to. Keeping your fitness levels up through the winter will help shake those winter blues, boost energy levels and boost positive mentality. Here are some simple tips for running in the winter months to make sure you stay safe and comfortable.
Photo source: runtastic.com1. Be safe be seen
As the daylight hours shorten, so does visibility levels. This makes it more difficult for drivers to see you on the road. Make sure to wear reflective gear, brightly coloured clothes and don’t be afraid to wear headlamps so you can see where your running and others can see you.
2. Don’t overdress
When you step outside initially, you will feel a lot colder than 10 minutes into your run. The common rule of thumb is to dress as if it’s 20 degrees warmer outside. You should always warm up before going for a run, this will increase your body temperature and prevent you from wearing too much clothes.
3. Wear the correct shoes
We love wearing breathable, lightweight mesh runners in the summer months but these types of runners don't go down so well in winter. Take your more durable, waterproof runners out of the wardrobe and dust off the cobwebs. These runners will provide more grip for wet and slippy conditions and prevent any unwanted falls. Make sure to wear socks that wick away sweat and keep your feet dry.
Photo source: runnersworld.com
4. Stay Hydrated
Despite being colder, you will sweat just as much during the winter as you would normally in summer. This means that it’s just as important to make sure you drink water or a sports drink before, during, and after your run. Add a sachet of Revive Active or Joint Complex into your water bottle to make sure you are getting those essential vitamins and minerals. The cold air also has a drying effect which can increase the chance of dehydration.
5. Warm up properly
It is very important to warm up properly before running because the low temperatures make your muscles more vulnerable to injury. Simple exercises like jumping jacks and stretching will get your heart pumping and ease out your muscles.
6. Run with a friend or group
Running with a friend or a group of friends makes your exercise session more social and safe. You can have a chat with your friend as you run plus it is more motivational. Running with your pet can also make running in winter more enjoyable. Keep your run fun and exciting by mixing up your route each day. Change location by running in the neighbouring area or even further afield.
Photo source: sekrety-zdrowia.org
7. Don’t stay in wet clothes
It’s very important not to stay in your wet clothes after running. This may cause you to catch a cold or increase the risk of you catching hypothermia. It’s best to hop into the shower, warm up and change into some dry clothes to prevent this. It’s also a good idea to drink something hot like a cup of tea. This provides double duty by hydrating your body while also warming you up.