You’re not a winter person. Snowfall, freezing temps and frozen lakes don’t exactly make you want to lace up your running sneakers and head outside. Instead, you patiently wait for the spring to roll around again, but by then, you’ll be out of shape and will have reversed all that hard work you did over the summer. Get your cold weather running gear together, brush up on cold weather running safety tips and stay in shape through the coldest months of the year.

well dressed men during winter running

Perks of Wintertime Running

If you’re a regular runner, you already know the basic perks of running: health, fitness and a slim body. Cold weather running packs in a few more benefits, though. Staying in shape year-round means that you’ll be ready to head to the beach the second it’s warm enough to sunbathe while the rest of your friends sweat it out at the gym to drop holiday pounds. Also, if you’re prone to depression during the winter, exercise will keep your mood and energy levels high. As long as you follow cold weather running safety tips, winter running should be nothing but a positive experience.

What To Wear For Winter Run

Your first of many cold weather running safety tips is to dress appropriately. You want to stay warm without overheating, and you don’t want to catch a chill, either. Choose a thin first layer made from synthetic material and wear a Gore-Tex jacket over that to shield you from wind and snow. If it’s very cold out, wear a polar fleece as a middle layer. Avoid wearing cotton, especially close to your skin, since it holds moisture. Since up to 30% of heat escapes via your hands and feet, make sure that they’re covered up, too. Thin running gloves are perfect for mild days and you can wear mittens when it’s really cold. Wear polar fleece socks with a thin sock liner underneath, ensuring that you have enough room left in your sneakers so that it’s comfortable while you run. Pull on a thin winter hat and cover your neck with a scarf. Don’t overdress and aim to dress as if it were 20 degrees warmer than it actually is.

what to do before running exercise

Safety Tips For Winter Run

Cold weather running safety tips focus on staying warm and dry. If you’re out running and it unexpectedly starts to downpour, or if you sweat more than you usually do, get inside where it’s warm and put on dry clothing right away. Never stay in wet clothing for a long period of time. If you’re wet for too long a time, you’ll be at risk for hypothermia. If you exhibit signs of hypothermia, such as loss of coordination, slurred speech, extreme fatigue and uncontrollable shivering, call an ambulance immediately. When it’s really cold outside, keep a close eye on your fingers, toes, nose and ears to make sure you don’t have signs of frostbite. If these parts of your body don’t warm up after running for a few minutes, and if the skin is hard and pale, you may have the beginning of frostbite.

Heed these cold weather running safety tips to get the most out of your run while keeping yourself healthy.