Running in the Cold

Despite the cold temperatures, you can still work an outdoor run into your fitness routine this winter. Here are some tips and safety precautions for your winter outdoor workout.

  • Reduce breathing problems: Even the healthiest runners can experience breathing problems when exercising in the cold. Wear a thin ski mask to reduce the aggravating effects of the cold. Breath through your nose rather than your mouth to lessen potential breathing difficulties. Engage in endurance running instead of sprinting to lessen the amount of cold air rushing into your lungs.

  • Warm up: Make sure you stretch before you start running. When brisk air hits muscles that haven’t been properly warmed up, the combination of cold and reduced air pressure causes joint tissues to expand, restricting movement, and possibly provoking soreness later. Cramping and spasms are also possible.

  • Dress properly: Wear layers to keep your body warm and protect yourself from frostbite or hypothermia. Wearing a hat is the best way to maintain a decent body temperature. Many runners wear polypropylene clothes when running because this material is comfortable and good for keeping dry and warm. Sweatshirts and sweatpants also make suitable, cold-weather running gear.

  • Stay hydrated: Runners still perspire in cold weather and cold air is much dryer than warm air, so staying properly hydrated is key to running safely in the winter. Staying hydrated also reduces the risk of hypothermia and breathing difficulties.