Brrrrr, it's freezing! Winter is upon us and it feels like it’s always dark outside. Many of us find it too tempting to hide inside our warm homes, at the gym or maybe at the cozy coffee shop.
But you should not underestimate the power and importance of running outside!
Lacing up for a run and facing the cold might be the last thing on your mind! But don’t let the weather stop you from being active and keeping yourself fit: We will give you 5 reasons why it’s actually a good idea to run in the winter!
Winter running is first and foremost about safety and comfort. You should pay attention to keep your body hydrated, to wear warm clothes, proper running shoes & running socks, and to be visible in the dark! Also, remember to warm up and stretch after your run - This will ensure you don't strain your muscles or injure your joints.
Regarding the proper socks, DANISH ENDURANCE offers a wide range of running socks that will keep you warm and comfortable during your run! Have a look at our webshop
Please read along and be surprised about the benefits of running in winter! :)
1. Improve your fitness – enhance your endurance!
Winter is the perfect time for establishing a solid running base in view of the upcoming spring marathons!
Base miles are important: by strengthening your muscles, connective tissues, ligaments and tendons, they will help you to increase your running speed and endurance. Improving your strength and power also reduces the risk of injury! Furthermore, base mileage – which mostly consists of slow runs – is great to burn fat, even more than fast-paced running!
2. Take advantage of new training options
Cross country running and trail running
are the perfect training alternatives for building your strength and endurance in the winter period! Cross country running and trail running means basically running on every surface that is different from the road, whether this is on grass, through mud, in the woods or on rocky and steep paths.
If you are new to these two running styles, you should definitely try it! One of the most important benefits is that running on grass decreases the risk of many injuries. The softer surface is simply better for the body, instead of the hard surface, you will find on paved roads.
Of course, bear in mind that you should pay attention to where your feet land when you run on grass or in the woods. You might come across roots, rocks or other loose objects and you do not want to risk tumbling. Finally, running in the woods, on grass, or in the mud might be a fun way for you to train and to forget about the cold and the time!
3. Treat yourself
If you can’t be motivated by running itself, think about the post-workout moment! Getting under a warm shower or under a warm blanket will feel so much better after a nice training session outside! Maybe you will experience much more desire to run outside when you know that a pie or a cup of hot chocolate is waiting for you at home.
Rewarding yourself with some nice and nutritious food is important. Fall and winter ingredients such as pumpkin, sweet potatoes, pears, and berries can make the perfect dessert or meal, giving you a great amount of energy while treating you with some cozy food! Did you know that a pear covers nearly one-fourth of your daily requirement of fiber? Furthermore, pears are rich in vitamin C, K, and potassium. The same goes for blueberries, the king of antioxidant foods and one of the best remedies to boost your immune system – which gets us to the next point!
4. Boost your immune system
Contrary to popular belief, running in the cold does not make you sick. Cold weather actually helps to give your immune system a boost to fight against symptoms of cold, respiratory infections and the flu season. As your body tries to stay warm during frigid temperatures, it shuttles your blood from the edge of your skin back to your heart to keep you warm, thus encouraging blood circulation. In turn, good blood flow helps you to recover faster and to lower the risk of injuries. Also getting some fresh air may make you feel better instantly, rather than sitting at home in the same stale air. Bye-bye winter sniffles!
In conclusion, regular physical exercise generally boosts the immune system and makes you more resistant to illness. Also, running in the winter sun might help you to boost your Vitamin D intake. What’s not to like?
5. Build mental toughness
When you dare yourself to go outside in the cold and lace up for a winter run, you are building mental toughness!
By encouraging yourself to go running in the winter months, instead of staying at home, you are constantly challenging yourself. Being able to go beyond your limits will boost your confidence and will make you feel so much better. Furthermore, the constancy of running in the cold will help you build willpower, which will, in turn, make you more disciplined in every other aspect of your everyday life! The more you do it, the better you will get at it!
So here you go with our 5 reasons why it is good to run outside in the cold. You are now ready to go and enjoy the cold, the snow, and the sun - when it’s there! Winter is beautiful and it is a pity to spend it indoors!