Finding the motivation you need to keep up your running regime during the winter months can be difficult.
Between the holidays, the cold weather and short days, you might feel like putting it off until spring.
But once you stop, getting started again is even more difficult than braving the winter weather.
Running in the winter has the added benefit of burning twice as many calories because you aren't just burning calories by running, but also by staying warm.
This means your body will look fabulous by the time bikini season rolls around.
Another benefit is that it helps to fight off the winter blues. When you know you are doing something great for your health and your body, you won't even think about being depressed.
Keep these winter running tips in mind to ensure your runs are safe and enjoyable.
Layer Your Clothing
Dressing properly is one of the most important factors of winter running. Experts recommend three layers: a tight fitting layer to keep in body heat, a loose-fitting middle layer and a waterproof outer layer. (On warmer days you can leave out the middle layer.)
The general rule of thumb is to dress for
temperatures about 20 degrees warmer than what it actually is because
your body will heat up as you run. Dressing too warmly will cause you to
sweat more, which can lead to hypothermia.
You might not feel thirsty, but that doesn't mean your body doesn't need liquids.
a water bottle with you, because most public water fountains are shut
off during the winter. Have a drink before, during and after your run.
Watch Your Step
Icy spots can pop up at any time. Shorten your stride so that you are less likely to slip and fall if you do hit an ice patch.
Put running spikes
on your shoes for extra traction and safety, like these YakTrax Traction Cleats from Amazon.
Protect Your Hands, Feet and Head
About 30 percent of your body heat escapes through your hands and feet, and even more is lost from the top of your head.
Wear a hat, polar fleece or wool socks and mittens. Gloves are fine on milder days, but mittens are recommended for colder days because your fingers can help keep each other warm.
Avoid Running on Extremely Cold Days
There are some days when you shouldn't be outside for more than a few minutes. Use these days for your cross training routines.
Go to an indoor swimming pool, weight train at the gym or practice your yoga moves.
Start your run facing the wind, this way it will be on your back on the return trip. On the way back, you will be hot and sweaty. Running into the wind in this condition can give you the chills or worse.
Get Out of Wet Clothing as Soon as Possible
Snow or sweat can dampen your clothing. Staying in these wet clothes increases your risk of hypothermia.
You may have hypothermia if you experience uncontrollable shivering, slurred speech, poor coordination or sudden fatigue.
If you have any of these symptoms, seek emergency medical attention immediately. Make sure you always carry your cell phone and cab fare, in case you have to be rushed to the hospital.
Cover Up as Much of Your Body as Possible
Exposed skin is at risk for frostbite. Protect your face and lips with a heavy moisturizer and lip balm.
Try these winter running tips and you won't have to hibernate all winter.
You'll stay fit, healthy and ready to take on the spring marathons.