Arrow Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation recommends these tips for the bold runners unfazed by frigid weather conditions
The beast of winter has not been kind to New Jersey and many other parts of the country, and it appears its work is not yet done, as more cold weather and snow may still come. Given the recent weather trends, the thought of voluntarily spending time outdoors for leisure might sound crazy to some, but for hardcore runners, the idea is both normal and sane.
Rain, sleet, snow, extreme cold, or just about anything combination, harsh temperatures and weather conditions are just another challenge avid runners are more than willing to take on. As it turns out, they’re actually on to something, too: running in the cold will actually help you burn more calories in colder temperatures because the body has to work extra hard to keep itself warm.
In addition, running throughout the colder months has the power to boost your energy levels and mood when the winter blues kick in, and will keep you fit for the summer while others might throw in the towel.
Continuing to exercise during this time is great for your health and highly recommended, but also requires some important provisions in order to stay safe and avoid injury. Arrow Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation recommends:
- Warm up before going outside: get the blood flowing with some basic exercise or even cleaning indoors so you’re already fairly warm
- Thoroughly stretch your upper and lower body: this will help loosen tight muscles and warm up muscles by increasing oxygen and blood flow
- Dress properly: make sure you’ll be warm enough without sweating too much; dress in layers, wear synthetic, sweat-resistant clothing with vents, and use gloves and a beanie when it’s below freezing or thereabouts
- Don’t fight the wind: if it’s windy, start your run against it and return with it to your back so it doesn’t make you colder due to sweat
- Shorten your stride: in snow, ice or rain, keep your stride shorter and pay attention to your footing so you don’t fall
- Speed isn’t important: winter running should be more about maintenance miles then hitting a personal best; don’t overwork yourself unnecessarily
- Hydration: even though it’s cold, keeping properly hydrated is still important; if it just snowed, feel free to grab some fresh snow to hydrate
- Cool down: after a run, get inside right away and take off your wet clothes; then walk around the house to cool down and avoid injury or soreness
It is in fact possible to keep active and run outdoors in this unpleasant weather, and all it requires these few basic modifications suggested above. For more information on running during the winter or for any other musculoskeletal concerns, visit Arrow Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation LLC at any of our three locations in Union, Woodbridge or Edison, or call 732-494-0895.