Running is a great way to not only stay in shape and maintain health, it is just as good for your mind as it is your body.
But if you live in Ontario, eventually, the winter months arrive and for those who love running, they adapt and continue running through any weather conditions.
There are many ways you can continue your running regime so it is both satisfying and safe.
Most importantly, make sure you are dressed properly. When you are running and begin to sweat, it can be deceiving, and you may be tempted to take off a layer. Instead, layer your clothes and wear the appropriate breathable running gear made from synthetic fabrics like polyester - avoid cotton. These breathable layers will keep the sweat away from your skin, and keep you warm at the same time. The last thing you want is to have wet clothing; it’s uncomfortable and can cause chaffing.
Running is all about the proper shoes. Go to a sports store and ask for running shoes with a thicker tread. This will help you run in the snow and slush conditions. Also, using metal grippers that are put on the bottom of the shoes will give you the added grip and traction you need to avoid slip and fall accidents.
Always factor in the wind chill with the temperature. If it’s below minus 25, you have to make sure you don’t get frostbite or hypothermia, which you may not notice is happening. If you are shivering, feel numbing or tingling in your fingers, ears or toes, those are the early signs. Get indoors immediately and apply a warm cloth to the affected areas. As well, know when to stay home. Sometimes, blustery winter weather is just not worth the risk of going for a run.
You may not think about it, but even when it’s cold outside, it can still be sunny and you can get sunburnt. The sun reflecting off the snow and the wind can cause a burn, so wear sunglasses and apply sunscreen to protect your skin and eyes.
Another consideration is the time you go for your run. Daylight hours are hard to come by in Canadian winters. The sun rises late and sets (quickly) in the afternoon. If you are running in dusk / dark conditions, make sure you are well-marked. Wear bright colours, preferably with reflective materials. A flashing light is always an option.
The safest and smartest way to run in the winter is with someone else. This way, you are with someone should you fall, become injured and they can help you get back to safety.