Running in Cold Weather
In order to train effectively and safely in cold weather, there are a few safety tips you may want to look over.
Once you run in the cold weather as compared to the warmer climates, the body actually does give out excess heat. This is waste heat which, after the exertion on the body via running, is lost. In turn, you will find that the health benefits of running are immense, but only if you follow the correct guidelines while running/jogging in cold weather, then these benefits can be seen. So to make sure you avoid any wrongdoings to your body and get all the benefits of running daily, here are some tips you should be aware of.
Wearing the Appropriate Attire
Always dress in layers. Wear a thin synthetic t-shirt inside along with a nylon t-shirt. It helps keep the moisture out, and keeps your skin breathing freely. If the temperature is higher than usual, you can also add a polar fleece layer in between. Depending on the weather, you need to dress accordingly. Don't try to overdress yourself though, as after running, you're going to get warm anyway.
Eating the Right Food
Keep a check on what you eat. Since food is the essential element that helps you produce heat, following a particular diet is necessary. As you are exposed to cold, make sure you don't skip out on eating. You must know that we feel more hungrier during winters, as compared to summers. So when you eat, you are actually giving your body a chance to generate more heat. This keeps your body warm while you're working out; hence avoiding any health risks.
Breathing Normally While Running
When it's cold outside, you always need to keep an eye on the wind intensity. The reason for that is because you need to be aware of your breathing while running. If you believe that inhale from the nose and exhaling from the mouth is the correct method, then I may have to disagree here. When you follow this technique, your facial muscles get tense, and this puts increased amount of stress to your body during the workout. What you need to do is open your mouth just a bit and breathe from both your nose and mouth. Till the cold air reaches your lungs, it will be helpful to maintain your current body temperature. Also, it's a good habit to wear a balaclava while running. It will cover your mouth from the cold air, and keep you safe from bronchial constriction and/or asthma.
Checking for How Cold it Gets
Before going out in the open for a run, always check the temperature and wind chill. When the wind is too strong, even after wearing all the layers, it can go through it and reduce your body temperature. Plus, your body movement will elevate the presence of cold air around you. So the best advice here is, if the temperature drops below zero and wind chill is less than -20ºF, it is best to stay home or go to the gym and opt for a treadmill.
Consulting a Physician and Physical Trainer
Last, but certainly not the least, consult your doctor and physical trainer (if you have one). The reason for this is because extreme wind chills (well, cold wind in general) can have adverse effects on your body. It can initiate chest pain or even asthma attacks in some. This can also be a result of any health issues or medical conditions you may already have. Which is why, consulting with an expert is a must.
By following these tips and using proper running form, you can get all the benefits from this workout. While running, make sure you stay hydrated, drink fluids before, during, and after the workout. Also, it's important not to stay in your wet clothes once you are back from the run. You need to be absolutely sure that you don't further any ill effects to your own body. All the best and take care while running outdoors.
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