As the weather gets colder, we all must take steps of precaution to protect ourselves from the elements. Homeowners winterize their pipes; farmers prepare their fields for the frost.
The same is true for those who plan on exercising outdoors in the winter, especially for those whose main mode of exercise is running. If you want to balance keeping physically fit and staying safe this winter, here are four safety tips for running in the cold.
Most people’s instinct when the temperature drops is to dress as heavily as possible. Retaining your body heat is essential to avoid hypothermia and similar cold-weather conditions. However, when you are running, you are also producing a great deal of heat and sweating, leading to damp clothing, which is dangerous in the cold.
When you’re running, look for clothes that are moisture-wicking, and focus on adding several layers. If the temperature is in the thirties or below, it’s a good idea to have an insulating layer beneath your clothes such as thermal underwear.
Wear Reflective Clothing
Daylight starts and ends much earlier in the winter. What was a daylight jog in the summer may occur when it is pitch black outside in the winter. This can become dangerous if you are jogging in areas without sidewalks.
An easy solution is to wear reflective clothing, like a neon-colored vest. This will help make your location obvious to cars or bicyclists. Some even opt to wear headlamps, which offer the additional benefit of illuminating any uneven or icy places in the sidewalk.
Inform Others Where You’re Going
Between early evenings, icy roads, and low temperatures, accidents are more common in the winter. Because of that, it’s even more important to inform others when you’re going on a run. This is especially important when you’re running in places that are out of the way, like parks or nature preserves.
Informing people where you’re going is an essential way to ensure safety on a winter run. That way, if something goes wrong and you are stranded, there will be someone who knows you’re missing and who will know where to look for you.
Pay Attention To Recovery Afterwards
Because the weather is so cold, many assume they don’t need to “cool down” after a jog in the winter. However, cool-downs aren’t about temperature; they’re about muscle and heartrate recovery. After a run, you should take recovery steps, such as:
•Take a brief walk
•Do slower exercises on indoor equipment like upright bikes
•Use foam rollers
Recovery is especially important in the case of muscle injuries. Ice and heat are the most common recovery tools for injuries, but TENS and EMS treatments can also help.
That’s why we have a variety of units for your recovery needs. And for recovery of the ankles, knees, and hands, TENS Units has tens conductive garments that’re perfect for these hard-to-reach areas.