Running Advice For A Winter Wonderland

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Tips & Advice from the professional personal trainers at OneLife training gym in Kelowna.

So you’re a running addict, you love the rush of endorphins and the motivational feeling – but you dread winter because it means that your run gets cut short… Guess what? It doesn’t have to be! A winter run can actually have a phenomenal amount of benefit. There are some essential tips that you must know to ensure your safety and to get the most out of your run in chillier conditions.

Benefits

Winter is a wonderland and it looks infinitely more enchanting then a muddy run in the spring. When you step out onto a fresh blanket of snow, it’s not only satisfying – it also offers premium terrain for building muscle. Since everything is a little slippery, your muscle must work harder to keep balance as you power through that sprint. Your abs will often tighten to stabilize your core and your legs will start to strengthen up to keep you from falling. And what is another outcome from working harder? A higher calorie burn. Along with your body attempting to keep you warm against the windchill, running on this energy demanding turf will torch that winter weight you are hoping to keep off.

Tips

Run Into The Wind
Tackle the wind when you start your run so that way you won’t be feeling the chill and fighting for energy after you’ve broken a sweat. Think of it this way, if you run into the wind at the beginning, it’s an extra obstacle for your body to overcome and build resistance too. Then when you run back going with the wind, you’ll avoid it directly nipping at your nose.

Warm Up
Allow for an extra 10-15 minutes on top of your run to warm up. When your body is cold, your muscles can shorten and do not have the mobility that they have when they are warm. A good warm up will get the blood flowing and decrease the chance of freezing up before you even get going. Try skipping rope inside or a few jumping jacks to get that heart pumping!

Avoid Quick Acceleration and Deceleration
Contrary to the summer where you run for speed, winter running is more about stamina. It’s becomes a much more efficient run when you are being cognizant of what your body is feeling. Don’t go longer then you can handle (you can always work up to a longer run time, in fact, it’s a great goal) and don’t try to show off by being speedy Gonzales. You might end up slipping and injuring yourself with quick start/stop motions, as well as releasing too much energy in one go.

When In Doubt, Treadmill It Out
If you don’t feel that you’re ready to undertake the frosty elements of the outdoors, then a treadmill might be the best way to actively keep up with your cardio. We have state of the art treadmills and cardio equipment available here at One Life. Unlike the outdoors, you can control the terrain on a treadmill by adjusting the elevation and there is no worry of sliding on a slippery slope.

Safety

Keep Warm
Use heat packets to warm the extremities of your body and make sure you are wearing the proper protective gear such as the following: mittens, hats, windbreakers, and face protectors. Also consider wearing clothing that will wick away sweat to ensure you have less of a chance feeling chilly due to cooled down sweat.

Wear Reflective Gear
The days are shorter in the winter time and if you are running in the morning or in the dark, reflective, bright coloured clothing can save you from the dangers of the road.

Emergency Essentials
Always bring your phone in case you injure yourself or feel like you’re short of breath. And remember, if you do need to be picked up along your run, have some transportation fare at hand for calling a cab or taking a bus.

Hydrate Yourself
Just because the sun is supposedly hiding doesn’t mean you are going to sweat less. Replenish your body’s liquids with good old H2O. A trick to keep your water from freezing up is to fill your bottle with either warm water or hide it from the wind chill by stuffing it inside your jacket.

Remember, while wintertime may be beautiful, there are a ton of precautions that should be taken when facing the outdoors. We hope these tricks to running in the cold will prove to be beneficial when it comes time to put them into practice. But like we said before, One Life offers various forms of cardio to keep you going through the winter season if being outside with Jack Frost isn’t your style. We have personal trainers to offer you the best advice, group fitness to keep you motivated and nutrition programs that can keep the holiday weight away. If you want more information about our programs, hours of operation, and what we offer you can contact us here.



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