8 Tips for Running in Cold Temperatures

As the temperatures drop, your resolve to maintain a healthy and active lifestyle can sometimes waver.

The cozy temptation of blankets and hot cocoa might be too inviting.

Here are eight tips for making your winter runs bearable, turning them into empowering and fulfilling experiences.

Dress in Layers

Layering your clothing is a smart strategy for staying cozy during cold-temperature runs.

A good rule of thumb is to dress as if the temperature is 20° Fahrenheit higher than it actually is. You should feel slightly cool when you begin your outing.

To help trap heat while keeping sweat away from your skin, you can start your outfit with something that wicks moisture, add something to keep you warm and finish with a jacket that protects you from the wind.

The magic of layering is you can adjust your clothing as you warm up during your run. If you start to feel too hot, shed a layer to avoid overheating.

Choose the Right Footwear

Picking the right shoes is vital for a comfy and safe cold run. Get shoes with extra insulation to keep your feet warm. Look for good grip and traction on the soles to avoid slipping on icy paths.

Consider shoes that resist water to keep your feet dry because wet feet can make you uncomfortable and even frosty.

Also, think about getting a pair slightly bigger than your regular size because your feet might swell in the cold. Try them on short runs first to ensure they feel good before you go for those long winter jogs.

Run in Daylight

Whenever possible, run during daylight hours to ensure better visibility and safety. Take this time to jog in wooded areas for their positive impacts on your immune system.

Studies on forest bathing have shown exposure to the phytoncides trees and other plants emit can boost human immunity. If you need to run in the dark, wear reflective clothing and consider a headlamp.

Hydration Matters

Don’t forget to drink water, even in the cold.

Even though you might not feel as thirsty as you do in warm weather, your body still needs hydration in chillier temperatures. If you drink enough, it can make your run easier and more comfortable.

Carry a water bottle with you — one that keeps your drink from turning into ice.

Warm or room-temperature beverages like herbal tea or sports drinks are good because they help your body stay warm and give you the necessary fluids.

Sip regularly during your run to make sure you stay hydrated and feel your best even when it’s cold outside.

Protect Your Extremities

Remember to take care of your hands, head and feet. These areas can get chilly quickly when it’s cold, so bundling them up is essential.

Wear gloves to keep your hands warm and toasty.

Hats are great for protecting your head from losing heat. Before you head out, make sure your feet are snug in socks to keep them dry and comfortable.

Listen to Your Body

Spending time in nature can help you clear your mind and reduce stress because your cortisol levels tend to go down outside. However, when you’re running in lower temperatures, pay close attention to how you feel.

If you start feeling really cold, your body goes numb or something doesn’t feel right, don’t ignore it.

It’s important to stop your run if you’re not comfortable or warm enough. You can seek shelter or switch to walking to stay safe.

Stay Informed About Weather Conditions

Before you go for a run in the cold, check the weather forecast for your area.

Look for information about how cold it will feel, and whether it might rain or snow. This helps you plan your run better.

Suppose the forecast says it will be extremely cold, very windy or icy. In that case, waiting for better conditions or choosing a different route is safer. Knowing the weather helps you prepare and keeps your runs safer.

Warm Up Properly

Ensure you warm up thoroughly before heading out. Your muscles are at their best for working out when they’re literally warm because they’re stronger and more flexible.

Ten minutes should be your minimum warm-up time, but move around for 20 minutes or longer if you need to.

Embrace the Challenge

Running in cold weather can be enjoyable if you prepare properly.

Embrace the challenge of cold-temperature running, celebrate your determination and remember — with the right gear and mindset, every cold outing is a step toward a healthier you.