The sun shimmers through your bedroom window and you yawn while coming out of a deep sleep. After you stretch, put your contacts in and eat a small bowl of oatmeal, you’re ready for your morning run around the lake. Sounds perfect, right? It is, until the winter rolls around, the sun doesn’t rise until 9 a.m. and just stepping outside into the cold makes you lose your breath. Fortunately for you, you don’t have to give up your morning running routine. It’s just a matter of knowing what to bring for winter running so that you don’t freeze.

comfy lower apparel for winter running activity

Benefits Of Winter Running

The obvious benefit of running through the winter is that you’ll improve your health while keeping your waistline trim even over the holidays. The perks of running when it’s cold outside go beyond simple fitness, though. If you’re prone to the winter blues, running will raise your endorphins and help you kick that depression. Your energy level will remain high year-round and you won’t have to go on a crash diet just to get into bathing suit shape. Once you know what to bring for winter running, the rest of the experience will be beneficial.

How To Dress For Winter Running

Your first layer of cold weather running gear should be made from a sweat-wicking synthetic material. Avoid cotton, which retains moisture, and opt for polypropylene instead. If it’s colder than usual out, wear a thin polar fleece as a second layer. Otherwise, you can skip it and go straight for your outer layer made from breathable Gore-Tex or nylon. This will protect you from wind, rain and snow without holding in too much heat. If you overheat, you’ll also catch a chill. Wear thin running gloves or thicker mittens, depending on how cold it is, and wear a sock liner topped off with a wool sock. Just make sure that you have enough room left in your sneakers so you’re comfortable. Wear a hat, too.

cool running mitten hand protector

Basic Running Safety Tips

Aside from knowing what to bring for winter running, there are a few easy cold weather running safety tips to follow. Keep an eye on the wind chill factor and check the temperature online before you head out. Wind that’s too strong will penetrate your layers of clothing no matter how warm you are at first. If the temperature is below zero or the wind chill factor is minus 20 or more, head to your gym and run on the treadmill instead. But, as long as you know exactly what to bring for winter running when you do head outdoors, you shouldn’t face any problems.

When it comes to what to bring for winter running, you’ll need more than a good pair of sneakers and a few warm layers. Don’t forget to stay hydrated. Some people think that you only need to drink water during a run in the summertime because it’s so hot out. However, winter air is dryer, and even though you may not feel as thirsty you can still get dehydrated. Aim to drink six ounces of water every 20 minutes. If you run for more than an hour and a half, drink a sports drink to replace sodium and electrolytes.