Top 5 Safety Tips for Running in Cold Weather

Top 5 Safety Tips for Running in Cold Weather

You don’t have to confine yourself to working out indoors in the wintertime. Instead, follow these top five safety tips for running in cold weather.

1. Dress in Layers

When bundling up before heading out into the cold, focus on layers rather than adding bulk. Check your forecast so you can wear the proper layers.

Start with a moisture-wicking base layer that helps keep you dry. A middle layer, such as a fleece top or long-sleeve shirt, will help trap heat. Finally, add a water-resistant or waterproof outer layer.

Leave a minimal amount of skin exposed to the cold air. Wear a hat or earmuffs, gloves, and warm socks.

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2. Enhance Your Visibility

The following safety tip for running in cold weather is to enhance your visibility. Wintry days are gray, and it can be challenging for drivers, bicyclists, and pedestrians to see you if you blend into the environment.

The fluorescent and reflective materials on hi-vis clothes make you stand out during the day and in low light. Fluorescent pigments absorb ultraviolet light from the sun, giving the fabric a highlighted look. Retro-reflective tape doesn’t shine in the sunlight but reflects light, such as a flashlight or headlight, back to the source.

3. Warm Up and Cool Down

Warming up before aerobic exercise and cooling down afterward will reduce stress on your heart and other muscles. In addition, warm-ups increase blood flow to major muscle groups, one of the best ways to prevent common running injuries.

Before and after your run, walk briskly for 5 to 10 minutes. Do some stretching after the warm-up walk. A mix of static stretches, where you stretch a muscle for 30 to 90 seconds, and dynamic stretches, such as jumping jacks, will help you perform well in the cold.

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4. Hydrate

The cold might fool you into thinking you don’t need much water, but you still need to hydrate. The amount of water you need depends on your body and activity level. Drink more water starting 2 hours before your run, then drink water during and after your run.

Electrolytes improve your hydration and help your muscles perform well. After sweating from your workout, drink an electrolyte replacement beverage to restore balance.

5. Start by Running Into the Wind

Cold weather pushes many people to spend almost all their time indoors, but running is one of the best outdoor workout activities for adults. Make the jog more comfortable by starting your route heading into the wind.

In the last part of your run, you’ll be sweaty and tired, and you won’t want to face the wind because it will chill you and force you to exert more energy to push forward. Therefore, you should face the wind at the start when you have more power and feel warmer.

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