With the shorter and colder days, lacing up for a run might be the last thing you feel like doing.
But don’t let the winter weather stop you from being physically active and keeping fit.
Try the following tips to help you stay safe and motivated when you’re running in colder weather.
What to wear
Dressing appropriately for the weather conditions will help ensure you enjoy your run.
Consider wearing lightweight layers of breathable clothing, known as the layer system.
The layer system works well for keeping you warm and any layer can be removed as conditions change during your run.
When choosing your layers, remember your body heats up during exercise. You should be slightly cool when you start your run.
Stay safe – be seen
If you go running before or after work during the winter, it’s likely you’ll be running in the dark.
When running after dark, it’s essential that you’re visible to other people, particularly motorists.
Your clothes should be reflective or a bright, light color, such as white or fluorescent yellow. Don’t wear dark clothes as drivers may not see you.
Warm up and cool down
Easing into your run is a good way to warm-up, especially in cold weather.
Start slowly with some very gentle running or even walking to ready the muscles for exercise.
Gradually increase your pace until, after around 10 minutes, you get to the pace you’re going to maintain for most of the run.
Don’t stop after your warm-up to stretch. That will cool your muscles down again.
To cool down, reduce your pace or walk for five to ten minutes. This will help your body recover after your run.
Don’t stop and stretch outside or you could get too cold. Do some stretches indoors instead.
Running with a cold or asthma
Colds are more common in winter, but you don’t necessarily have to stop running if you’re feeling under the weather.
If your symptoms are not severe and you generally feel OK, then you can go running. If you feel rotten, then it’s best not to go.
However, it’s important not to run if you have a fever. A fever is when your body’s temperature is 38C (100.4F) or above and is rarely a symptom of a cold. ”
If you have asthma, take extra care when running in winter as cold air can trigger symptoms