Going for a jog during the winter: benefits and recommendations

Going for a jog during the winter has many health benefits, despite the threat of cold weather suggesting otherwise. However, a series of recommendations must be taken into account to avoid the risks of low temperatures and inclement weather.

In fact, to go jogging during the winter it is very important to be well prepared with protective clothing. The cold should not be a reason to stop running, however much it is argued that winter weather is an excuse to give up exercise.

General tips for jogging in winter

It may appear that the health consequences of jogging in winter have to do with colds and respiratory illnesses. However, there are problems that can be much more serious, such as the risk of falls due to ice or other problems derived from the weather.

Do not lose sight of that cold weather makes it difficult for muscles to warm up, which makes us more vulnerable to muscle and joint injuries. Here are some general tips.

Check the weather conditions

Before going for a run, check the weather forecast. It is not just a question of whether rain is expected. Humidity, temperature, wind chill, fog, or wind are important factors to consider.

Analyze your own personal capabilities

No matter how much you want to go for a run, It is important that you take into account if you are in appropriate physical condition. The colder it is and the more unfavorable the weather, the more effort it takes to go jogging in winter.

Train for good physical shape

Not everything is running. Being in good physical shape means doing exercises for toning and flexibility. This helps build stronger and more flexible muscles and improves overall physical capacity. In winter this is very useful to prevent injuries.

Do a good warm up

In cold climates it is more difficult to warm up muscles and joints. That is why it is more important than ever to warm up well. You can start indoors, on the porch or under cover on the street. This will help you to warm up little by little and to do dynamic stretches.

Pre-jogging stretches should be done indoors in wintry weather.

Stop the march if you notice that something is wrong

If you notice that something is wrong, stop. And if you feel bad to walk back, call someone to come and look for you. Whether it is chest pain, shortness of breath or difficulty in a joint. The cold will only exacerbate the symptoms.

It's easy for you to want to put the pain or difficulty down to stress and feel like running will pass. But the risk is not worth it and there are other ways to relieve the pressure.

Don't forget the cool down and stretching

A good cool down or cool down phase, as well as a good stretch, are also vital when you go for a run in winter. The problem is that it may seem that the cold will play a trick on us by stopping. That is why it is important to do it well and in a calculated way.

Note that If you don't cool down little by little and stop too quickly, your muscles will become more vulnerable to injury. The stretching can be done when you get home, at the portal or inside. But it is just as important to do it so that the muscles can rearrange.

Stay hydrated

Staying well hydrated is very important in winter too. The fact of not feeling as thirsty as in summer does not mean that it is not necessary to drink water. In fact, the colder it is, the more water you have to drink.

When we are not well hydrated, our body slows down and, with it, also the metabolic functions. This means that we have less energy and that performance decreases.

Read also: Hydration is essential for your brain

Whenever you go for a run, carry your mobile

The mobile will allow you to call for help in case of accident or injury. In addition, it is important that you are located in case the mishap you suffer does not allow you to call. Finally, always let someone know when you go out, so that they are pending.

Dress Tips for Jogging During Winter

To go jogging in winter you must be very clear that it is not about wearing a lot of clothes, but about wearing the right clothes. The same goes for footwear. The right one according to the weather and the type of road you are going to run on is essential.

With this in mind, here are a series of winter running clothing tips that are essential for training in good conditions.

Do not stop reading: Tips for choosing clothes for exercise

Light clothing, layered and of the right material

Clothes should be light and adaptable so they do not limit movement when running. In addition, it is best to wear several layers. It is important that you wear a first breathable layer, a second insulating layer and a third that protects you from the wind.

Reflective elements

It is very important that you always wear reflective elements on your clothing, even if you run during the day and in good weather. In this way you will always be visible, both to people and to vehicles.

Accessories to protect limbs

Hands are very sensitive to cold, so it is highly recommended to run with gloves. In addition, it is important that you protect your throat, since the cold air can promote health problems.

Also, covering your head will help you retain temperature better. Just as important is that you take care of your ears from the cold to prevent infections.

Suitable footwear

Running on asphalt is not the same as running on dirt. And it is not the same to run on snow or on wet ground. Choose your shoes well and, if in doubt, consult a specialist.

Benefits of jogging in winter

Running in winter has additional benefits to those of running in warmer seasons. The main ones are the following.

It can help you burn more fat

Cold temperatures can turn unwanted fat into a different kind that burns calories, known as brown fat. Brown fat is metabolic tissue. In fact, many studies suggest that exercising in cold climates makes white fat more beneficial for your health.

Jogging in cold is easier

Many use the cold as an excuse for not running. Yet despite everything, running in the cold is easier than doing it in the heat, because the work that the body has to do to maintain the temperature in the second circumstance is greater than that it has to do with the winter weather.

Also, although the cold can be unpleasant at first, the body is very efficient at heating the air, even before it reaches the lungs.

Burn more calories

When we are cold we begin to shiver. This repeated movement gives us warmth, which involves harder work. Further, we use more energy in winter than in summer to run because we need that extra fuel to keep the temperature.

Can help fight sadness and anxiety

It is normal to feel sadder during the winter. In fact, there is a type of seasonal affective disorder which is a type of depression caused in late fall or early winter.

Going for a run in cold weather helps you fight this and any other problems that have to do with sadness, anxiety, stress, or depression.

The clothing must be specific for running in winter, since we must protect the entire body from the elements.

Risks and contraindications of jogging in winter

Some health conditions can be affected by running in cold weather. For example, research shows that acute and prolonged exposure to cold affects cardiovascular responses. In this sense, exercise would increase cardiovascular tension.

You also have to bear in mind the problems of breathing cold air. It is dry and exercise causes the loss of water and heat from the lower respiratory tract.

As one study shows, hyperpnea (increase in the amount of air ventilated per unit of time) with cold, dry air represents a significant environmental stress for the respiratory tract. Repeated hyperpnea of ​​the peripheral airways with dry air causes inflammation.

Another aspect to keep in mind when jogging in winter is the increased risk of injury, due to both the weather and the condition of the road surface. As we have already discussed, low temperatures make it more difficult to keep muscles and joints warm.

In extreme climates keep in mind the risk of injury from hyperthermia or frostbite. If you get wet while running and don't wear adequate protection or have a fall and can't get back, you risk low temperatures causing these damages.

It is important not to stop training

Jogging in winter has many benefits, as long as training is approached properly and all necessary precautions are taken. If one day you can't, either because of the weather or because of our physical condition, nothing happens. There are other alternatives. The important thing is to know what to do and not make excuses.

And if you really don't want to run outdoors in winter, you have many other alternatives so you don't get stuck. What counts is that you don't stop training.