Does your exercise routine freeze during the winter? Maybe it’s too cold to go outside and run and too dark to go walking. Staying active in winter requires a little adjustment, but you can stay in shape with these tips!
Start small. You may not be able to run as far as you normally can, but any exercise you get is enough to keep you healthy. Don’t worry about how fast or far. Just keep moving!
Pay attention to the weather. If it’s below 5 degrees, better exercise indoors. Also, don’t run when it’s raining or snowing—getting wet makes you more susceptible to hypothermia and frostbite. Know the signs of frostbite and hypothermia and get inside immediately if you recognize the symptoms.
Map your route and let someone know where you’re going. If you’re injured, someone can find you quickly and you won’t be left in the cold. For the same reasons, you should carry your phone on a run. Be flexible with the time of day—running/walking in the morning or on your lunch break will solve the cold and darkness problems, as well as lessen the chance of running on ice.
Layer smart. Dressing for running in the cold is a science, but we’ve pulled out the most basic tips for you. Don’t just layer as many clothes as possible. Instead, alternate the types of fabric. So, for example, you might have a wicking layer close to your body to deal with sweat, followed by a heavier layer for warmth, followed by a wind-breaking layer. And of course, take care of your extremities with good socks, gloves, and hats. Wearing a bandana or scarf over your mouth can help with breathing pain.
Drink plenty. You might feel less thirsty than when you ran during the summer, but your body still needs the hydration. Make sure you drink plenty of water before and after.
Still not keen on running in the winter? Try some fun winter sports, like skiing, sledding, and ice skating! Or switch to indoor exercise—treadmills, workout videos, and gyms make it easy to get fit in a warm, dry environment.