If you’re dedicated enough to brave the colder weather and the potential hurdles that come with it, be sure to arm yourself with these tips for playing it safe!
1) Plan Ahead.
As mentioned earlier, if it’s particularly snowy or icy outside choose a safer route that has been plowed areas devoid of loose snow. Also make sure someone at home or a neighbor knows where you’re going and when you should be back so that at least one person will know to take action if you don’t come back at the time you’re expected.
2) Stay close to indoor warmth.
When running outdoors in the winter, don’t go so far from indoor warmth that you don’t know if you can make it back, warns Philbin. If you get chilled you are on borrowed time, and if your feet are also wet, they will freeze rapidly. Running is demanding on the body even under ideal conditions, and when you add unstable surface conditions, elements such as sleet or snow, and wind, you add to the effort necessary just to do your customary workout. Always be flexible and have a Plan B in case conditions go south.
3) Don’t overdress.
One of the worst things you can do while it’s cold outside is sweat. Once you start sweating, you immediately increase your chances of developing hypothermia. To avoid this, make sure you feel a little cold when you first step outside – Your body should warm up early enough in your run to keep you comfortable without risking it.
To avoid cold or damp feet consider wearing Core-Sport by Therafirm’s graduated compression socks or Core-Sport leg sleeves with your favorite non-compression running socks for added support. The moisture-wicking fibers in Core-Sport are guaranteed to keep your feet dry during your entire workout.
4) Slow down.
Take your time finding your pace as you brave the outdoor elements. Be wary of snow and ice; Even if a surface looks to be safe, black ice can cause you to slip and hurt yourself. Make sure to stay on sidewalks if possible or plowed roads (assuming traffic is low).
Plan your route so that you are always in well-lit areas and make sure to dress in reflective clothing if you’re running at night.
5) Talk with your doctor.
If you have asthma, emphysema or similar difficulty in breathing, cold air in the lungs can be even more of an issue and you probably shouldn’t be outdoors at all if it’s cold outside. The only way to know if outdoor exercise is appropriate for you is to talk with and seek advice from your doctor.
Breathe through your nose only and wear a scarf – You’re more susceptible to becoming ill when you breathe through your mouth. Additionally, your nose is better equipped to filter out the dust and bacteria that might otherwise have an easier time making you fall ill if breathed through your mouth.
Do you have other tips and advice to share that aren’t listed here? Sound off in the comments below!
*This is only general information and is not meant for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical conditions. Always consult your physician or other health care provider about all health concerns, conditions, and recommended treatments.
By Jenna Baker. Jenna on Google+