Winter’s on its way and at this time of year, you might find it especially hard to keep up your running and fitness regime. However, it’s important not to let the weather get in the way of your exercise routine. The following winter running tips should help you to stay on the roads this chilly season.
Dress for the elements
First and foremost, make sure you dress for the conditions. Thick garments may be a big no no when you’re pounding the pavements. However, it’s important that you stay warm. Ideally, you should wear a lightweight top as a base layer. If you choose one made from a technical running fabric, it will wick away sweat, helping you to stay dry.
You can then top this with a lightweight fleece or, if it’s raining, a waterproof jacket. If you get too hot during your run, you can always remove this layer and tie it around your waist.
If you’re wearing shorts, try using running tights or leggings underneath. Alternatively, opt for tracksuit bottoms. On really chilly days, it’s also a good idea to don a pair of gloves and a hat or headband.
Because the days are shorter at this time of year, you’re more likely to find yourself running in the dark. If you do venture out before or after sunset, make sure you wear bright or reflective clothes. This will help to ensure that drivers see you. Bear in mind that many running bands feature reflective strips.
Avoid any areas where you don’t feel safe too, and if conditions are very icy outside, you may have to forgo your jog until it’s let slippy.
Don’t ignore an injury
If you do slip or trip while running and you injure yourself, or if you develop a pain somewhere in your body, seek medical help. Ignoring a knee injury or another physical problem is simply storing up trouble. The sooner you start treating an injury, the more likely it is that you will be able to overcome it.
A good warm up is a must
On a related point, you’re less likely to injure yourself if you do an effective warm up before you hit your stride. This is especially important in winter when your muscles and joints are likely to be stiffer.
You can start your jog slowly with some walking or gentle running. Gradually up your speed until, after around 10 minutes, you’re at your desired pace.
If you’re suffering from a cold, you might be tempted not to run. However, it’s possible to carry on jogging even if you’re under the weather. If your symptoms aren’t severe and you feel up to it, then you can hit the roads. However, bear in mind that if you feel weak, it’s best not to go.
Also, never run if you have a fever as this will make you feel worse. In rare cases, exercising when you have a high temperature can lead to a virus that affects the heart, so it’s not worth the risk.
By following these tips, you should find it easier to stick to your jogging routine and to stay safe this winter.
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