Many runners fear the cold season, icy temperatures, frozen ground and the early break of darkness. Running has many positive effects especially in winter. Running in freezing cold, over the first snow or in the autumn storm is a real challenge. You will be rewarded with lonely walks and an extra dose of energy. We have a few tips for you how to avoid risks when jogging in the cold.
Running in winter is fun
Anyone who has ever walked through a snowy landscape knows the fascination of a winter run. Walking through the silence opens up new horizons. Running in winter makes you happy: The short winter days and the associated lack of sunlight cause the production of serotonin, the good mood hormone, on a low profile. Anyone who jogs regularly boosts serotonin production. The result is more relaxation and better mood. In this way, you not only increase your jogging performance, but also prevent depression.
Fresh air makes your mind brighter: air stimulates the hormone and immune system. In summer, with humid weather and high ozone levels, many joggers run out of breath. At cooler temperatures, on the other hand, you can finally take a deep breath and run more effectively.
Tumbling down annoying weight: In order to protect yourself from the cold, our body stores more fat in winter. For this reason, we often have an appetite for hearty and high-calorie foods in cool temperatures.
Exercise (running) is a virus killer: if you spend all day in the warm office, you risk to catch a cold because the body needs the temperature differences to boost its defenses. Exercise in the fresh air stimulates the production of endogenous antibodies and is better suited than any other measure. Natural killer cells are activated, protecting your body from viruses and bacteria.
Running – a sport without limits: you do not need expensive equipment or a gym and bad weather does not exist. You can walk anytime, anywhere. However, if you find it difficult to gain some momentum, you should make an appointment with a friend or colleague, so running will soon become your routine.
5 tips for optimal jogging during cold weather:
1. Do not forget the warm-up
Keep yourself warm! Your muscles will eventually need a little longer this season to reach the optimal temperature. Only a warm muscle is a powerful muscle. In freezing temperatures, it is best to start the circulation and muscles in the warm room with a few gym exercises. Starting it slow and dosed. After the jogging you should stretch extensively in the warm. At very low minus temperatures protect the respiratory tract from drying out with a cloth or raised collar in front of the mouth. Inhaling icy air through the open mouth makes the airways more susceptible to colds. In the cold, therefore, the breathing through the nose is more desirable: it ensures a better warming of the respiratory air and thereby delays the cooling of the respiratory tract.
2. Change the step technique
If the trails are slightly slipperier, adjust your step technique: take shorter and flatter steps, focus on the footprint and landing stages. The steps should be gentle rather than strong. Pay attention to the volume when setting up: the quieter your feet are, the smoother, more effective and safer your running pace is. In fresh snow you usually have more grip than on trails where the snow is already crushed and icy ,run quietly through the deep snow and reduce your speed.
3. Drink enough water even in the cold
In winter, the thirst is usually lower than in summer. We are sweating less and need less to drink. The result is that our body does not have to be cooled down so much at low temperatures. And yet moisture evaporates without feeling it, and the inhaled air needs to be moistened and warmed up to get it up to body temperature. You should not neglect drinking, but trust your thirst.
4. Wear proper running clothes
When running, you will usually get warm quickly in the winter, you should dress in layers so that you may be able to take off a layer during the jogging and tie around a waist. The most exposed areas to the cold weather are hands and head. Since body heat is mostly lost over the head, wear hat or headband when the thermometer drops below five degrees. Also important are a warm trunk and a protected lumbar region. Trail running shoes with a grippy sole and a robust upper are also recommended for running in mud and snow. Do not forget sun protection cream!
5. No running if you catch a fever
A cold is an upper respiratory tract infection, often in combination with a runny nose, and / or coughing or sore throat, but it does not cause a fever. Also, the flu is an acute respiratory infection, followed by additional symptoms such as high fever, cervical, limb and joint pain and cough. Fever is the body’s reaction to inflammation and the body needs time to recover. Therefore, with flu and fever, exercise is absolutely no-no, and this at least until you recover.
Do not be afraid of running in the cold
The temperatures that you expect during winter cannot harm you. On the contrary, the temperature differences strengthen the immune system and promote blood circulation. The perceived temperature depends heavily on wind and humidity. On a dry, windless winter day, it is a lot more pleasant than a less cold, windy rainy weather. On such days, protect yourself with a running jacket with membrane against wind and rain.
Other useful links: