Many of the world’s top footballers may be leaving behind the European winter to take part in the World Cup controversially located in Qatar, but for most people back home, getting outdoors for a run will require good fortitude and planning as they are more likely to encounter ice and biting winds than desert sands.
It may be tempted to stop running for the winter and concentrate on some indoor exercise like gym work and swimming, but the fact is that running not only helps keep specific muscles in good shape and boosts your health, but can be beneficial to your mental health. It helps reduce anxiety and depression, the latter being a particular problem in the darker months for some people.
There are different considerations to running safely in winter. If you are a woman you may not feel safe running alone in your local area after dark, so it could be a good time to find someone else to run with. You may find this is a great way of motivating you both to keep going as well. You should also wear something to make you visible if you are near to traffic for safety reasons.
However, the main issue will be the cold itself. Running frequently when it is below freezing can be bad for the lungs, but when it is simply nippy you can do it with good preparation.
That means you should have a good warm-up to get your muscles warm and moving, reducing the chances of injury. In addition, it is a good time to add on some extra layers. Thermal base layers, gloves, jogging bottoms, extra socks, a body warmer and a woolly hat can all be great ways of maintaining your body temperature while you get going.
Finally, make sure you have the right running shoes. Ideally, you want something with more grip and traction for what may be slippery surfaces, as well as having greater water resistance.
With the right equipment and preparation, you can keep going all winter, without a warm weather break like those pampered footballers.
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