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No need to put your run on hold this winter. Just follow these tips to help reduce injury.

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Do you enjoying running outdoors? If so, there’s no reason to give up your workout because of the cold weather. You just need to keep a few things in mind before you lace up your shoes and head outside so you’ll stay safer and be more comfortable.

“It’s always easier to run with friends and they will hold you accountable because you don’t want to keep them waiting so commit to a healthier lifestyle this holiday season and reward yourself at the end with a chat from a sweet friend or a small treat! Stay motivated and start your New Year resolutions early this holiday season!”

-Kristen D. Talbot, MD, Internal Medicine 

Here are 6 tips for running in cold weather:

  1. Dress appropriately. Dress as if its 20 degrees warmer than it actually is. Yes, you’ll be a bit chilly when you first get started, but you’ll soon warm up and will be happy you didn’t wear those extra layers. Running heats the body up faster than you think.
  2. Wear running gloves and a hat. You lose about 40% of your body heat from your head, so a hat will help keep that heat in. Your extremities are also the first to feel the effects of the cold and are more prone to frostbite, so keep hands covered as well. 
  3. Warm up before you head out. Before you get outside, warm up your body to get the blood flowing. Walk up and down your stairs, jump rope or do a few jumping jacks.
  4. Take it easy. You’re more likely to pull a muscle in the cold because your muscles are tighter. So start slowly and don’t push it. Now is not the time to focus on speed.
  5. Change quickly. Your body temperature will drop fast once you stop running, and if your clothes are damp, you’ll soon feel the chill. So get inside or change clothes quickly.
  6. Know when to just stay indoors. Sometimes it’s just too cold to spend much time outside. If the temps are more than you can handle, switch to an indoor workout. Also, if there’s ice on the ground, it’s better to stay inside to avoid slips and falls.

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Date Last Reviewed: September 20, 2019

Editorial Review: Andrea Cohen, Editorial Director, Baldwin Publishing, Inc. Contact Editor

Medical Review: Andrew P. Overman, DPT, MS, COMT, CSCS

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