Cardio training is essential for athletes, fitness enthusiasts, and people who want to lose weight. While working out in a gym is beneficial, many people prefer traditional jogging outside. With the arrival of winter, however, many people take a break until spring. In vain. Running outside in the winter not only provides a cardio workout but also helps to improve the immune system and strengthen the body.
When can you run in winter?
Doctors and sports experts recommend training in winter at air temperatures:
- teenagers – up to -15 ° C;
- women – up to -10 ° C;
- men – up to -20 ° C;
- after 50 years old – up to -5 ° С.
These are, of course, completely personal indicators. They are essentially determined by the status of the pulmonary system and how it reacts to the chilly air. Even without physical exertion, it can produce bronchospasm and/or cold burn in some people. For such people, there is only one option: to exercise in a warm room.
Those who conquered “winter laziness” and decided to run in the cold should keep this in mind.
- In addition to air temperature, humidity and wind speed should be considered. For everyone, a high humidity indicator is an absolute no-no for training. You can train in high or gusty winds, but extra protection is required.
- Jogging during precipitation (snow, rain) is possible in a special winter uniform, shoes, and accessories.
The benefits of running in winter
And despite the high risk of injury, as well as the high financial cost of winter sports equipment, running on snow-covered streets and parks is still preferable to running on a treadmill in the gym.
Indoor air is deficient in oxygen, whereas cold air is abundant. Exercising outside in the fresh air will help to replace the body’s O2 deficiency. This will provide you with a great rush of energy and vigor. The most important thing is to not get off to a quick start. A wave of dizziness may cause you to fall down after a few dozens of meters.
Another advantage of winter runs is their high energy consumption, which is a result of the challenging weather and weak grip. As a result, you will not gain weight by the spring.
And the last benefit is that your brain will work better since oxygen is well supplied. This advantage will be especially good for students who spend most of their time indoors. Take care of your health, and your homework will be taken care of by professional essay writers who provide top essay writing service and perform work of any complexity.
Warm-up and route selection
Amateurs typically go for health improvement or training runs in the morning or evening. However, it is still or already dark in the winter at this hour. As a result, you must consider the following factors while selecting a route that corresponds to the target mileage or load time period:
- the presence of street lights and the degree of illumination of the distance;
- the condition and material of the road surface;
- the time and quality of cleaning the track;
- the number and area of places where icing is possible.
Even in winter, avoid running on sidewalks with many manholes or near highways.
The benefits of running outside in winter can be offset by injuries. Cold and icy conditions increase the risk of sprains and subluxations, plus the risk of bruises and sprains from falls.
Warm up before a winter run at home:
- Warm up in comfortable sportswear.
- Follow the order of exercises:
- intensive walking, running on the spot – 2-3 minutes;
- warm up the arms and scapular waist;
- bends and turns;
- warm up the ankles and stretch the Achilles;
- After putting on your winter running uniform, do a couple of complicated moves. Move quickly to the starting point.
- Running in the winter mornings requires lengthening the warm-up by 5-7 minutes.
Low air temperatures can cause bronchospasm and respiratory tract burns. If breathing problems arise, a specific mask must be used to protect the mouth and nose. A simple scarf will do.
In the cold, you must also be able to breathe while running. Take a deep breath in through both your mouth and nose. The tip of the tongue should touch the upper palate in this case. The tongue will act as a barrier to cold air, preventing it from passing through in a thick stream, reducing the harmful impact on the mucous walls and alveoli.
Choosing clothes for running in winter
“Winter runners” used to evoke either laughter and pity, or respect. The first appeared to be cabbages with sweaty stalks, while the second appeared to be cheerful, but a tiny amount of clothing and sneakers with thin soles controlled and limited high-speed movement.
Today you can hardly get sick because of your outfit. Modern fabrics, polymeric materials, the number of styles, and the quality of manufacture of highly specialized sports uniforms and equipment cause “fierce white envy” of former athletes over 50.
Running on snow and slippery asphalt is no longer an issue, and you can get winter running shoes while sitting at home. Although they are expensive, they are well worth the money and will endure more than one season.
Winter running equipment is impossible without thermal underwear for today’s healthy lifestyle folks. Despite the fact that these tights are made entirely of synthetic fibers, they effectively dissipate heat and provide near-perfect skin dryness.
When choosing thermal underwear you need to pay attention to the nuances:
- Choose your size precisely, despite the high elasticity of the product;
- For short-term and high-intensity jogging the silk models are suitable;
- For continuous winter running, heavy and polar weights are suitable.
Let’s have a look at another aspect of thermal underwear that not everyone is aware of. It must be worn not just on a nude body, but also with seams and tags facing outward.
According to the rules, a winter running suit is put on thermal underwear. It should keep the body warm and, if necessary, transmit the released perspiration to the third, top layer of running apparel.
Jackets and vests
A winter running jacket is required for additional rain and snow protection. It’s made of light-weight polyester fabric. It fits into the outside pocket of a tracksuit when folded. When selecting a top jacket, keep the following in mind:
- length of sleeves and lower back;
- the presence and shape of the hood;
- the presence of reflective details;
- the ability to adjust the neck, hood, edge of the sleeves and bottom;
- external zip protection.
Vests are worn for warmth when the temperature goes below -10 degrees C. The current tendency is to use fake goose down rather than natural goose down. When buying a sleeveless jacket, make sure that not only the exterior fabric, but also the fabric of the zippers are waterproof, and that the back and chest have reflective components.
Although everyone understands why gloves are necessary, it is uncommon to see a runner with protected hands. Do not pass up such a practical and fashionable addition, as it will protect your skin in the case of an unfortunate fall. If you don’t want to wear them, tuck them into your jacket. Carabiners are included in all sports models.
Fingerless gloves will work in moderately chilly conditions. This “no-fingers” approach is ideal for using electronic devices. It is preferable to use sports gloves during heavy frosts.
Hats and scarves
Many people believe that running hats are necessary to protect their heads from colds in the winter. This isn’t correct. The first part of the body to suffer to the cold is the ear. Choose from a variety of hats, earmuffs, headbands, and bandanas. The most important thing is to get in size; if it’s too hot, take it off and stuff it in your pocket. The new microfleece fabric used in these sports caps, on the other hand, will not cause you any discomfort.
Everything is much easier with fleece scarves. In severe frosts, regular styles, scarves-transformers, and special masks will be required. Their primary purpose is to protect the respiratory system from cold burns.
How to avoid injury while running in winter?
Sprains, ligament and tendon ruptures, subluxations and dislocations, bruises, and fractures are all injuries that can occur while walking or jogging on snow and ice. Is there a way to avoid them? Certainly:
- buy winter running shoes with quality soles;
- do not exercise if you feel unwell or if an old injury worsens;
- do a warm-up before your workout;
- do not take out the phone or a bottle of water on the run;
- do not be distracted, look under your feet, checking the condition of the track;
- do not experiment with the type and technique of running, for example, do not run backward, cross-step, or with hops;
- do not jump over pits, mounds, puddles, or slippery areas;
- be especially careful on the ups and downs;
- do not change direction abruptly;
- in case of a fall, group up, fall on your side, try not to expose your hand and elbow.
Have you fallen? Don’t rush to get up. Assess the severity of the pain. In severe cases, do not move, loudly call for help.
If you suddenly got the desire to start jogging, but it’s winter and there’s knee-deep snow outside, no problem! Do not deprive yourself of this pleasure, especially since, unlike most others, it has the potential to increase not only the number of years lived but also the quality of those years.
First, treat yourself to some winter sportswear. Then choose a route and a weekly timetable for your health runs, keeping in mind the golden guideline of physical education and sports: gradually increase the load. Begin by running for 5-10 minutes at a slow pace.