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Running in The Winter for Beginners

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A guide on how to prepare for running in the winter when it's cold outside.

Unless you are very lucky to be living in an environment where it is always sunny and warm, the winter cold can impose a de-motivating energy into every aspect of your life. As much you may not want to go to work, go shopping, or go anywhere, the winter cold will make it even much worse.

For runners, winter makes it very difficult and intolerable to go outside for a run.

However, researchers have found that running in the winter actually has several health benefits, such as increasing cardiovascular endurance and calorie burn. To stay safe when running in winter as a beginner, use the following tips:

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  • Safety

Consider investing in a good light or reflective gear, for instance, a headlamp or a hip light to increase your visibility and to also make it easier for other people to see you. Also, make sure that you carry some form of identification such as your ID or a phone in case of an emergency.

  • Know the Weather

Weather conditions and temperatures can change in a flash, depending on where you live. With the huge changes in temperatures, make sure you understand the weather and plan ahead. You can bring along extra layers if necessary.

  • Do Not Be Afraid of a Little Rain

Apart from making you look like a badass, running in the rain when it is cold has some health benefits. If you can run in the rain, you will be building a habit of mental toughness and resilience. Races are rarely cancelled due to bad weather; for instance, the 2018 Boston Marathon continued despite the cold and the rain.

  • Invest in A Good Winter Running Gear

Having the right type of clothing can make a huge difference when running during winter. Hats, gloves, and waterproof jackets will make a big difference in keeping your core body temperature high in cold weather. If it rains regularly in your area or if it starts dropping below freezing point, you should think of getting a good pair of running shoes.

  • Warm-Up

Warm-up before exercise is very important, especially during winter, when your muscles are very cold. Due to the cold weather, your muscles may be stiffer and may have less blood flow.

By warming while still indoors, you will get your body temperature up before you head out to the colder conditions. Additionally, it will allow you to have a much better idea of the number of layers that you need before you head out.

  • Create and Maintain a Running Habit

The best way to stay motivated during winter is by maintaining a running habit. Make sure you run at the same time every day, in case the conditions outside are too poor, get a treadmill, or create an alternative workout that you can do while indoors.

Make sure you have something to do to keep your body in the habit of exercising the same time every day. It takes 3 to 8 weeks to create a habit, so start a good running routine and do not let winter ruin all your hard work.

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