When we think of running in the winter, we think of friends meeting on dark, cold mornings when our beds feel oh-so-warm. We think of the way the chilly air feels during those first 10 minutes and how softly yet suddenly the cold wanes, and we feel toasty.
Sure, it is freezing outside, and running in cold weather might not feel quite as natural as when it’s warm and sunny. But before you retreat to the treadmill for your run, consider this: Running in the cold may actually feel easier, help you reach your fitness goals, keep your metabolism going strong, and boost your mood.
Cold is actually the ideal weather for running.
Believe it or not, cold weather is actually the ideal condition for your run, the colder the weather, the less heat stress on the body, which makes it significantly easier to run, running in hot and humid weather is extremely taxing on the body.
Running outdoors can help you stay active.
Getting yourself to the gym can be a challenge in itself (especially during the winter months), and a treadmill at home can get boring — but running in cold weather will never get dull. It’s free, convenient, and will help you stay active when you’d rather binge watch Netflix. We tend to move less and eat more in the colder months. Running burns significant calories and is therefore a powerful tool in maintaining and even losing weight during winter.
Running outdoors can boost your mood.
When the days get shorter and the temperature plummets, many people suffer from Seasonal Affect Disorder. Running helps release powerful hormones that help combat this depression, increasing positive mood states during the cold weather months.
Layers that you can peel or zip away as you warm-up, and put back on as you cool, are key when it comes to running in cold weather. It’s important to be able to unzip something or take off a layer to regulate your temperature throughout the run as the conditions change. Choose technical fabrics like polyester, nylon, and wool that wick moisture away from your body.
Sign up for an event
With so many different races taking part in the Winter months, find and event and commit to training. Once you have signed up, there really is no going back so you will feel more motivated than ever to pick up a running plan and train. By actually committing money and training time to an event, you will find you are more invested in your running than ever before.