Running in the cold may not sound like the best idea, but there are actually several health benefits. If going outside for some winter exercise isn’t the type of thing you’d normally do, though, you’re going to need to take a few basic precautions first. One of the most important things you should do is dress in layers. Additionally, you’re going to need to wear the right pair of socks because cotton ones won’t cut it. Instead, you’ll want moisture-wicking socks like the ones made by TRUEENERGY®.
What are the Benefits of Running in the Cold?
Believe it or not, there are several benefits to running in the cold. Of course, going out into frigid weather isn’t for everyone. Therefore, if you’ve got a history of heart disease, you should be careful about being outside. It’s relatively safe for everyone else as long as you dress appropriately and the temperature is above 0 degrees Fahrenheit.
Extra Calories Burned
One of the biggest benefits of getting your heart rate up when it’s cold is that you’ll burn more calories. This effect happens because your body needs to work harder to keep you warm while you’re getting cardio exercise. Even better, it works for a little while after you’re finished running, too. So, take advantage of this benefit to help keep off the winter weight.
Reduce SAD Symptoms
Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a serious condition that could make you lose interest in things you typically enjoy. It can also cause you to lack concentration, overeat, or feel sluggish or hopeless.
Approximately 5% of American adults experience SAD, but there is a way to help combat it. Going for a run will boost your positivity. Doing it outside is even more helpful, as it will make you more likely to repeat your workout. Running outdoors has also been linked to feeling less depressed and having more energy, plus it gives you natural exposure to vitamin D.
Being in the freezing cold would normally cause you to start shivering, but this probably won’t be the case while you’re running. Fortunately, your body is likely to engage in another process called nonshivering thermogenesis—a process that increases your metabolism by activating the tissue known as brown fat. This process works even better as your body gets more used to running in the cold.
Build More Muscle
Exercising outside in the winter is tough, primarily because of psychological reasons. However, as long as you can get yourself to do it, you’ll earn more physical benefits than you do in the summertime. You’re going to become fit with less work since your heart pumps harder to get your blood to your muscles. Additionally, you’ll get used to the special conditions that winter presents, including snow-covered or slippery roads. This familiarity with the road conditions will increase the resiliency, responsiveness and strength of your muscles.
What to Wear While Running in the Cold
Now that you have a better understanding of how good it is to go for a run in the cold, let’s take a look at what you should wear to protect yourself. As previously mentioned, dressing in layers is by far the best thing you can do. You may need to tweak the following a bit depending on where you live, but it’ll work well in the upper half of the United States.
- Socks – Be sure to wear socks that wick away moisture, just like TRUEENERGY®. TRUEENERGY® offers socks that also are made with NASA-inspired Infrared Technology. In other words, your feet will benefit from improved healing, pain relief, soft tissue damage recovery and much more!
- Gloves – We’ve all seen people running in the cold who are wearing shorts and don’t have gloves on. Although these people may think they’re doing themselves a favor, they’re putting themselves at risk for frostbite. Wearing gloves reduces this risk significantly.
- Hat – You don’t need to wear a big, bulky hat, but you do need to put a beanie or other lightweight hat on before you go for a run.
- Base Layer – Technical fabric is a must in your long-sleeved t-shirt.
- Running Tights/Pants – Fleece-lined leggings can keep you warm while also giving you the freedom to move. If it’s really cold outside, put on a pair of running pants over your tights.
- Pullover – Whether you pick fleece or wool, be sure to put a pullover on top of your base layer.
- Running Shoes – Make sure your running shoes are appropriately sized to accommodate your feet and socks. Be sure to check out the traction on your shoes to ensure they’re in good shape.
- Jacket – A water-resistant or wind-resistant jacket works best in the winter. If you select a jacket that has pockets, it’ll give you a place to store your gloves, if needed.
- Sunscreen – By now, running with sunscreen on (even when it’s cloudy) should be a regular part of your routine. Be sure to get a sunscreen with at least 30 SPF for skin protection.
- Sunglasses – Many runners like to don a pair of sunglasses to protect themselves from the sun.
Warm Up This Winter with TRUEENERGY® Performance Socks
Be sure to use all the tips for running in the cold listed above. The most vital component is to ensure you’ll stay warm while running. Otherwise, it’ll be much harder to convince yourself to go out for your second run.
Choosing to wear warm running clothes in the cold weather also provides other benefits. For instance, wearing TRUEENERGY® socks will improve circulation, relax muscle spasms, and make recovering from strains and sprains easier. There’s a reason we’ve been in business for 75 years and have pro runners wearing our socks. So why not try a pair today?