Running in the cold, wet, grey and foggy weather… During dark winter months, the weather often isn’t very motivating to go out for a run.
We’d rather stay in our warm, cozy bed or get comfy on the couch with a hot cup of tea in our hands. However, if we want to make the most of our lives, we should still lace up in the winter and explore nature:
A runner’s life expectancy is 3 years longer, on average, compared to non-runners. Plus, runners have a 30% lower risk of mortality from all causes and a 45% lower risk of mortality from heart disease or stroke.
Good news, runners: Jogging is good for your health. Whether on the treadmill or out in the woods, you’ll always benefit from running.
Makes your brain happy
Exercise improves your cognitive skills. You’ll be able to memorize things quicker and easier.
Those who jog regularly throughout the year can prevent obesity, depression, Alzheimer’s, heart attacks and cancer.
When comparing treadmill vs. outdoors, jogging through nature emerges as the clear winner – even when it’s cold outside.
Strengthens your immune system
Fresh air makes us tougher. If you head out for 30 to 75-minute runs on a regular basis, your chances of catching a cold drop by 20% compared to non-runners.
Trains your coordination skills
Running on difficult, uneven terrain is a better workout for your feet, including all ligaments, muscles and tendons–especially when the ground is slippery, wet or covered in snow.
Improves your mood
During the darker winter months we’re often deprived of sufficient sun light, which can also brighten our mood. The good news is that exercising outdoors, during the day, is a mood booster even on grey winter days. Going for a run on gloomy days can actually turn gloom into a cheerful mood.
Turns your focus to the present
Low temperatures and slippery, muddy ground boost attentiveness and mental focus and leave us little time to dwell on our problems.
Helps you unwind
Running surrounded by nature, or even passing by different buildings and parks, helps you relax and unwind. Changing surroundings turn your run into a more exciting, varied experience.
Now that you’re ready to put on your running apparel, no matter how uninviting the weather might be (right?!), we’ve just a few more tips for you:
- Layering is the name of the game! Put on several layers to take them off gradually in case you get too hot.
- Wear enough clothes to not freeze while warming up, but still feel chilly. If you’re cozy and warm right from the start, you’ll definitely sweat too much when running.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a scarf when temperatures are in the twenties or low thirties Fahrenheit (or below zero Celsius). It’s easier for you to breathe and your bronchi and lungs will thank you.
- Choose apparel with reflector stripes for enhanced visibility in dark or foggy environments.
Oh, and please don’t forget to warm up your feet and legs prior to every winter run!