Guess what? I went for a jogging run this morning in subzero temperatures. Am I crazy? Not really. I just don’t see why I should change my exercise routine just because it’s wintertime. My heart needs the exercise and my lungs need the fresh air regardless of the season. And the American Heart Association seems to agree with me. In this brochure, Start Walking this Winter, AHA discourages us from turning into couch potatoes every time Jack Frost comes around as well as gives some tips on winter walking.
Below I give some tips on winter jogging.
Check the weather. Winter time can present some danger in the form of slippery ice, snow storms and avalanches. Make sure that you are jogging in safe weather conditions.
Jog at daytime. In the summer I love to jog early in the morning or late in the evening to avoid the heat. In the winter time I jog at midday to first, take the opportunity to have some sunshine, and second, for safety reasons. In some parts of the world, sunlight, our main source of vitamin D, may only be seen at midday. Jogging when there is enough light is much safer because we can see better and we can better be seen by motorists. It also lessens the risk of being mugged which unfortunately can happen everywhere. If you have to jog in the dark, wear reflector vests and wear head or shoulder-strap lamps.
Wear proper shoes. Forget about making a fashion statement. Your shoes need not be elegant but they have to sturdy and waterproof. There are special winter running shoes with anti-slip soles and warm linings.
Dress up warmly but not too heavily. Heavy clothing makes it difficult to run. Light but warm jogging gear are available is all sports shops. Look at the specs on the label. They usually specify the temperature. A thermal underwear layer under the jogging gear is also advisable.
Keep your head covered. Protecting your head from the elements can save you the colds and the flus. A warm cap can keep the cold winds away. Wear gloves if you have to.
Drink, drink, drink. I mean not the alcoholic type. A warm cup of tea or a bowl of soup after a jogging run warms the hands and the body. But water is also important.
Have some company. Dragging yourself out into the cold, cold world is not an easy task. Make it easier by doing it with somebody. It’s not really a case of misery seeking company. It’s just much more fun (and safer) to run with somebody, be it your friend, your neighbor or your dog.
And finally, soak yourself in a relaxing warm bath.
Hmmm… isn’t winter lovely?