If you continue to complete your cardiovascular activity – such as running and walking – outdoors in the winter, there are a few things that will help decrease your risk of injury.
Try using cleats or picks that can be attached to your running shoes to enhance your grip on the ice. Another great idea is to invest in a pair of snow shoes; this can turn your regular sidewalk walk into a peaceful adventure through the trails.
Regardless, it is important that you take the time to plan and know your route ahead of time as the darkness will affect your vision and ability to see bumps in the road. Prior to stepping outside, make sure to warm up indoors. This will help prepare your muscles for the exercise you are about to do, and enable you to start walking, jogging or running as soon as you step outside.
- Take shorter strides to avoid slipping.
- Dress appropriately to cover your head, feet and hands to prevent losing excessive body heat.
- Wear bright clothing so you remain visible.
- Bring a bottle of warm water to drink to prevent dehydration as you will often not feel yourself sweating and can just easily become dehydrated.
- Try wearing dry-fit material that whisks moisture away from your skin.
- Wear cleats on your shoes to prevent slipping.
- Wear woolly socks or thin thermal socks to prevent your feet from getting cold, and ensure that they are form-fitting to avoid blisters.
- Always go by the ‘real feel’ temperature.
- Layer your clothing! Better to be warm and have to take a layer off.
- After your run, keep track of the temperature and what you wore so that you can create notes on how to dress in future!
Rather than hiding indoors all winter, try following the above suggestions to help you improve your outdoor activities!