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Just Keep Running

  • Category: Health & Wellness
  • Posted On:
  • Written By: Baton Rouge General
Just Keep Running

It can be hard to get out of bed when it’s cold outside, but it’s even harder when you have to psych yourself up to go for a run in winter weather! Don’t let the weather stop you from meeting your fitness goals. Experts say the key to staying fit isn’t motivation. It’s discipline. So, how do you stay disciplined when the weather is less than motivating?

First off, don’t feel like you have to exercise outside. There’s lots of ways to stay fit in the comfort of central heating. Run on a treadmill, take a cardio class, do some bodyweight exercises. Anything that gets your heart rate up helps. In areas where temperatures often dip below zero, it can actually be dangerous to be outside too long. Lucky for us in Louisiana, that’s not a real concern.

There are some health benefits to running in colder temperatures. It can boost the body’s resistance and strengthen the immune system, reduces inflammation, speeds up the bodies post workout recovery, as well as improves your mental health and helps combat Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).

If you don’t want to hit the treadmill and want to keep up a running schedule as part of your training, here’s some tips on how to run in the cold comfortably.

  • Warm up! Stretch and get your blood flowing inside before you head out into the elements. Then, start slowly and let your body warm up before you hit your fastest pace.
  • Dress for 15-20 degrees warmer than it is. As you get moving, your body will warm up and you’ll feel like it’s warmer than it actually is.
  • Layer. Start with a base layer that is water resistant. Wool or nylon blends work well to wick moisture away from your skin. Add a running jacket, tights or pants, and warm socks before lacing up your sneakers. Hats and gloves are great additions. Just make sure you have a pocket or pouch to put them in when you get going and warm up.
  • Keep drinking water. The colder weather may not make you want to drink water, but your body still needs to hydrate.
  • Limit your time outside. Cold joints and muscles are slightly more prone to injury, so you should try to warm up as soon as you can.

In any exercise routine, it’s important to listen to your body and talk with your doctor if you have concerns.