Running in winter can be the coldest, most uncomfortable way to stay in shape. The freezing air hurts your lungs, the snow is blinding, and the sheer tension in your body won’t let your muscles loosen.
Thankfully, here at SkinnyMs. we believe that fitness should be fun. We believe you should look forward to your workouts, not dread them with every fiber of your being. So we put together this list of the top must-know tips for running in winter.
After all, winter running does come with a handful of benefits.
- Popular paths are often less crowded.
- It’s a fun way to see your neighborhood’s holiday decor.
- It’s a great way to ward off winter weight gain.
- Make the most of scarce winter sun and get your dose of vitamin D.
While running in the cold might seem uncomfortable, taking the right precautions can make it a downright enjoyable activity. Below we’ll go over the need-to-know on winter running gear, running safety, and motivation.
It’s time to make outdoor running enjoyable again, even in the cold!
1. Wear the right clothes.
Winter running gear is a little different from summer running gear. In the cold weather, you’ll need long sleeves and pants to keep your skin warm. Even while exercising, cold wind can dry up, crack, or freeze your skin. Moisture-wicking, flexible fabrics are still the best, you’ll just want more of it.
You’ll also want a wind-breaking jacket. While a breeze in the summer feels nice and cooling, a winter breeze is a whole other story. The icy air will be a lot colder than your warmed up skin, and the contrast can even feel painful sometimes.
Additionally, depending on how cold it is, you might want gloves, a hat (or headband that covers your ears), and maybe even thermal long underwear. Check out these 3 Tips for Choosing the Right Workout Gear.
Remember that when running in winter, proper clothes play an important role in preventing frostbite and cracked skin.
2. Layer up.
When it comes to winter running, the biggest headache revolves around under- or over-dressing. The easiest fix to this is layering up.
We already mentioned wind-breaking jackets to ward off the worst of the cold air. Another good tip for outerwear is choosing a jacket that zips all the way down. This makes it convenient to layer down or up.
When we run (especially when we’re increasing speed or going uphill), our body temperature spikes. We’ll create our own convenient heat source. This means that the layers that felt comfortable when you first left your house might seem suffocating half way through your run.
But with a jacket that zips all the way down, you can easily allow in some colder air. You could also take off the jacket and tie it around your waist.
For more information on helpful winter workout gear and tips to stay safe and comfortable, check out our 10 Tips for Working Out Safely in Cold Weather.
3. Use sunglasses and sunscreen.
Many of us connect sunglasses with the summer. They’re a must have for beaches, but not for winter wonderlands. Nevertheless, the glare from the snow can actually be more harmful to our eyes.
Protect yourself from harsh light with a pair of sunglasses that has adequate UV protection. Additionally, gusts of wind won’t dry out your eyes if you’re wearing protection, which makes for a much more comfortable run!
Additionally, you should protect your skin with sunscreen. Even during winter, harmful rays can lead to burns and increase your risk of skin cancer. Check out these 5 All-Natural Sunscreens that can help keep your skin healthy, glowing, and wrinkle-free.