Baby It’s Cold Outside…Let’s Go Running!

Hi there bloggy friends! How has your Tuesday been so far? Pretty peachy here!

I was able to slip out of the office and write this post while enjoying a smooth, hot, vanilla rooibos tea latte:

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Delish!

And was also able to have a pick me up snack of some candy TJ’s dried mango!

 

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It’s the small things, people!

So in this morning’s post, I mentioned that  I planned on writing a special article on fitness! Pretty broad, eh? Well, to narrow it down, I read a very educational segment in my ACE personal training manual on a subject that’s very relative – at least for those in the middle and northern part of the US.

Before I go any further, I just want to reiterate that I am not (yet) a personal trainer.

 

Don’t Let Cold Weather Keep you Indoors!

Each winter, when the weather turns cold and grey, most gyms around the country get a little more crowded, and most streets see a little less foot traffic. I have to admit, I typically spend my workouts at the gym or on my elliptical each winter to keep away from the cold.

However, this year, I’m planning to embrace the cold weather, and get outside and exercise! Getting moving outside has many benefits – especially in the winter!

Have you ever heard of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD?) It’s a type of depression that occurs during the changing of seasons – mainly during the winter months. The leading treatment for SAD is light therapy. Well, think of exercising outdoors as your natural combative against SAD! Try getting out at least once a week, like Angela recommends for Project Snow.

I’m very excited to get out at least once a week this winter for a long run, however, there are some precautions that need to mentioned. Exercising outdoors throughout the winter is an excellent idea, but there are some safety measures you need to take.

Stay Safe (and warm!) in the Winter

While studying for my ACE Personal Training class the other night, I came across these tips and precautions you need to take if exercising outdoors in cold weather. As I mentioned above, there are so many benefits to getting outside – even when it’s cold out, but it can be dangerous if you don’t follow a few guidelines for keeping warm and staying safe.

  • It’s just as important to replenish body fluids in cold weather as it is in the summer. This one surprises many people, but just because we sweat more in hot weather, doesn’t mean we can skimp on our fluids in the cold. Fluids are lost through vapor when we exhale in addition to our kidneys producing more urine when it’s cold. So as a guideline, replenish your liquids like you would if you were a sweaty mess! 🙂

 

  • Even though the temperature drops in the cold weather, as long as we’re moving and working fairly hard, our bodies do a good job of heating themselves up. However, the trouble is when we stop exercising. When we stop working so hard, our body temperature will decrease, thus putting at risk for losing too much heat.

The manual also gave some ways to protect yourself against the dangers mentioned above:

  • Layers, layers, layers! Layers can always be peeled off, so when starting out, wear 2-3 layers, and as your body temperature increases, either take one off or unzip one. However, keep them on hand to put back on when you stop exercising.

Before my race on Sunday, I wore a coat over my long sleeved Lululemon shirt, over a lulu tank.

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When it came time for the race, I shed the coat, because I knew running would increase my body temperature.

IMG_1221(the one in the pink!)

 

And after the race, the coat (and gloves!) went back on!

  • Also, be sure the layers are made out of fabric that wick moisture away. I’m sure we all know that wet workout clothes=cold body! This is especially true in the cold. Fabrics that are OK to wear are wool, polypropylene, or any of the moisture-wicking tech clothes.

 

  • For intense wind, make sure your outer layer is able to protect your body against the harsh winds.

 

  • Lastly, make sure to wear a cap, as a large amount of heat can be lost through the scalp. I use this Under Armour hat during the winter and summer. It’s ventilated and moisture wicking so it will fair well in all weather.

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I also have a stocking cap and even a neck warmer to wear when the temperatures dip extremely low:

 

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In my opinion, it’s also a good idea to wear something to cover your ears. I don’t know about you, but when I’m out running it harsh weathers, my ears get extremely cold.

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I use this one from lululemon – but you can find ones that will suffice almost anywhere!

One winter safety precaution this chapter did not touch on was the dangers of snow and ice. In my opinion, if it’s icy out, just don’t run outside. This advice was actually passed down to me from my mother, the runner. The only time she skips a run is when it’s icy out – otherwise she’s out on the roads 365 days out of the year. If this woman skips a run/walk when it’s icy out, anyone should (in my opinion!)

I hope that not only helps encourage you all to get outdoors and get your body moving this winter, but also to protect yourself from the weather that comes along with the winter months.

Speaking of working out in cold weather…you know how I said the Frank Lloyd Wright 10K I ran in this past weekend was going to be my last race of the season? Well, I didn’t know it then, but I was lying to you! Just this morning, I dropped a form off in the mail for the Jingle Bell Run 5K on November 15th!! Just saying that date makes me shiver! Actually, as soon as I crossed the finish line of the FLW 10k, I knew that it wasn’t going to be my last race of the year if I could help it! Luckily, I’ve convinced 4 friends (possibly 5!) to run it with me! I love running races with friends:D

 

Do you have any additional advice for working out in frigid weather? I’d love to hear it!!

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16 Responses

  1. Good points! Your mother sounds like a legend.
    I’m thinking I’ll get Yaktrax this year if it’s going to snow but ice will be a dealbreaker – I can’t even walk on it, i may as well exit the house on my butt because that’s where I’ll end up.

  2. That’s great advice! I have a hard time running in cold weather… we don’t get anything like you guys get up north, but during our “cold spells” I tend to stick with the treadmill.

    My biggest thing that is “fixable” is cold ears. Those little head wraps are a SAVIOR. But the hardest thing for me is the cold air… I swear my lungs HURT sometimes! 🙂

  3. that sounds like great advice. 🙂 I always have to remind myself that getting outside is the hardest part, and once I get moving, I’ll warm up.

  4. Guess I can’t complain when I’m running outside and it’s 50 degrees and I’m cold in San Diego. 🙂

  5. Not that it ever gets crazy cold over here, but I’ve learned that you should never be comfortably warm when you start running. Since you warm up when you run, always dress so you still feel a tiny bit of a chill at the start…that way you know you haven’t overdressed! 🙂

  6. I keep meaning to try the vanilla roobios latte! It always sounds so good–but I keep going for vanilla chai and pumpkin lattes! I’ll have to switch it up with you in mind next Starbs trip…

    Wish I had some frigid weather workout advice–but I’m the biggest baby and avoid being outside in cold weather like it’s my job 😉

  7. SUCH great advice Paige! Here in Wisconsin, it gets FREEZING in the winters and the snow can pile up to 5 feet in mid-January. This makes walking/running a bit difficult, especially considering that I live in the country on a back road. Snow Boots = NOT good running/walking shoes. 😉 Even so, I do love to stay a stroll in my snowpants on a non-windy day mid-winter. There’s just something so energizing about getting outside and exercising, whether it’s hot and sunny, or cold and snowy!

    xxoo
    Heather

  8. I invest in great socks and gloves. If my hands and feet are comfy I can stay outside much longer! If you’re really serious about getting your run on even with snow on the ground, look into a waterproof trail shoe. Your feet will thank you! Between great shoes, socks, gloves, and thermal tights I ran all through New England winters! Of course, now I’m living in Phoenix, and this isn’t such an issue any more…

  9. i live in warm weather now so i have no exercise tips for frigid temps to give (not that i exercise outdoors, anyways). i used to have SAD when i was on the east coast. but i still get sad here, too….

  10. That’s awesome advice. I’m not a runner but I exercise a lot so some of them are important to me 🙂
    Awesome that you’re going to run another race! 🙂

  11. Your advice for cold-weather-exercise is “right on.” I’ve been running and now run/walking outside for YEARS. However, I will not chance falling when there is icy/slick conditions. That’s not worth it:-(

  12. Great advice! I actually ran outside just last night. I don’t do it as often as I should, but hopefully this year I’ll get out of the gym more often.

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