The recent weather trends, the thought of voluntarily spending time
outdoors for leisure might sound crazy to some, but for hardcore runners, the
idea is both normal and sane.
Rain, sleet, snow, extreme cold, or just about anything combination,
harsh temperatures and weather conditions are just another challenge enthusiastic
runners are more than willing to take on. As it turns out, they’re
actually on to something, too: running in the cold will actually help you burn
more calories in colder temperatures because the body has to work extra hard to
keep itself warm.
In addition, running throughout the colder months has the power to boost
your energy levels and mood when the winter blues kick in, and will keep you
fit for the summer while others might throw in the towel.
Continuing to exercise during this time is great for your health and highly recommended, but also requires some important provisions in order to stay safe and avoid injury. Health Plus Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Center recommends:
• Warm up before going outside: get the blood flowing with some basic exercise or even cleaning indoors so you’re already fairly warm
• Stretching Body: this will help loosen tight muscles and warm up muscles by increasing oxygen and blood flow
• Dressing for Cold Whether: Start with a thin layer of synthetic material such as polypropylene, which wicks sweat from your body. Stay away from cotton because it holds the moisture and will keep you wet. make sure you’ll be warm enough without sweating too much; and use gloves and a beanie when it’s below freezing or thereabouts
• Start Your Run Into the Wind: If you head out into the wind, it will be at your back at the end of your workout. That’s preferable to running into the wind during the second half of your run when you’re sweaty and could catch a chill.
• Shorten your stride: in snow, ice or rain, keep your stride shorter and pay attention to your footing so you don’t fall
• Start Slow: winter running should be more about maintenance miles then hitting a personal best; don’t overwork yourself unnecessarily
• Keep your body Hydrate: even though it’s cold, keeping properly hydrated is still important; if it just snowed, feel free to grab some fresh snow to hydrate
• Cool down: after a run, get inside right away and take off your wet clothes; then walk around the house to cool down and avoid injury or soreness
For more information on running during the winter or for any other musculature concerns, visit Health Plus Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation, 114 Oak Tree Rd, Edison, NJ 08820 or call 732- 494-5999
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