8 Ways to Make Your Winter Jogging Safe and Enjoyable
Many people who’ve a confining job or just sports fans find jogging an essential part of their lives. This unique form of running helps them strengthen the cardiovascular system, lose weight, improve the blood circulation and even beat depression. Every day millions of people go jogging, especially in spring and summer, but when it gets cold, they either replace jogging by something else or just start going to the gym. When I ask my friends why they refuse to jog outside in winter, they say that it’s harmful and dangerous to health. Many of them wholeheartedly believe that cold air can freeze the lungs.
I can state with assurance that human lungs won’t be frozen, because the cold air inhaled during the run is quickly warmed to the body temperature. Sure, you can catch the cold, but it will happen only if you’re not ready for winter jogging or do something wrong. If you can’t imagine your life without jogging and cold weather isn’t an obstacle for you, then read on. The tips mentioned below will help you take only advantage of training in the cold.
1. Positive thoughts breed positive results
No matter how you slice it, winter jogging is a kind of challenge. It means you should get mentally prepared for it. There’s no need in meditating and turning in upon yourself like professional runners often do. The only thing you should do is try to think positive. Instead of thinking that you’ll have to go through the pain, discomfort and face the bad weather, you’d better focus on the benefits of winter jogging. This exercise will improve your overall health, strengthen your willpower and immune system. The statistics show that people with a hypochondriac nature get sick more often than the ones who look at the world through the prism of optimism.
2. Wrap up warm
Positive attitude and a smile on your face are crucially important things, but unfortunately they won’t warm your body during the run. If you don’t want a cold winter wind to play a low-down trick with you, then it’s necessary to dress warmly and properly. It’s been proven that dressing in layers helps trap the warmth between each layer. Professional joggers say that cold weather running gear should consist of three layers. Base layer will pull sweat away from the body. Insulating layer will provide effective warmth during the run. And finally the protective layer will offer protection from wind, snow and slobber. Try to avoid heavy clothing since it can significantly restrict your mobility.
3. Warm up at home
Many joggers make a mistake when they choose to warm up outdoors in winter. As a result, they often get injured, because their tight and cold muscles aren’t ready for active contraction in a cold environment. Pro runners advise people to do indoor warm-up exercises. These exercises will warm up the main groups of muscles, elevate heart rate and prepare the body for a run. This wise decision will minimize the stress your body experiences during the run in challenging conditions. Keep in mind that indoor warm-up shouldn’t be tiring and intensive. As soon as you finish the warming up, you should quickly put on your warm gear and go for a jog.
4. Let music occupy your mind
Music isn’t only an entertainment, but a powerful psychological tool that helps people find energy and motivation to overcome barriers. I’ve noticed that music successfully shifts my focus from the feeling of fatigue and pain, lifts my spirits and drives depressive thoughts away. Today you can upload a great number of free music playlists already created specially for runners. These running playlists consist of songs that boost the runner’s self-confidence and strengthen their willpower.
Traditionally, I start my daily jogging with my favorite song, “The Eye of the Tiger” by Survivor. This magical track makes me run and win regardless of everything. I forget about all my fears and inner contradictions, at least for a while, and gain control of my emotions. If you want to feel the same, find the songs that will inspire you to become stronger, persistent and productive.
5. Breathe correctly
In summer it’s possible to combine both mouth and nasal breathing and be sure that everything will be okay. In winter and during the cold autumn or spring months, it’s necessary to pay considerable attention to your breathing for the sake of your health. It’s strongly recommended to breathe through the nose while running, especially when the air is cold. This optimal breathing technique protects your throat and lungs from overcooling and various diseases. I’ve already made nasal breathing a habit, no matter whether it’s winter or summer jogging. Furthermore, it has significantly increased my jogging stamina and physical productivity. I advise you to develop the same habit as well, because your health and safety depend mostly on your breathing.
6. Reduce the duration of your runs
Regardless of how physically strong and mentally tough you are, jogging in winter is a stressful event for your body. But it doesn’t mean that you should give up jogging. This exercise brings more benefit than harm. The only thing you should do is reduce the frequency or duration of jogging if your runs are accompanied by physical or emotional discomfort.
Every system of your body needs time to restore after an intensive and challenging physical exercise. 15 minutes of jogging a day is enough to burn calories, release negative emotions and refresh your mind. It’s necessary to keep up the speed. It will help you reduce the duration of your run and avoid overcooling.
Read also – 7 Smart Ways to Start a Fitness Routine
7. Jog at the same time
As the creatures of habit, human beings are used to live and function according to certain schedules and regimes. We eat, fall asleep and wake up at the same time. These regimes help our bodies to quickly get used to our lifestyles, become productive and resistant to stress. If you want to turn winter jogging into a habit, you should jog every single day at the same time. In a quite short period of time, it will become a part of your daily routine. The great time for winter jogging is morning.
8. Help your skin handle cold weather
Every jogger knows that it’s impossible to hide the face from the cold winter and snow. Women’s facial skin is very sensitive to temperature changes. Use a moisturizing cream to help your facial skin remain beautiful and healthy. I don’t know why but many men say that moisturizing facial skin is for women only. I think it’s nothing else but a stereotype, because today moisturizing has become an important part of daily skincare even for men.
I hope these pieces of advice will come you in handy and make your winter jogging comfortable and useful. Do you find jogging in cold weather beneficial? Share your pieces of advice with us.