When it is cold and wet and filthy outside, it comes out again: your weaker self. And yet, especially in winter it is extremely important to practice sport as exercise boosts the cardiovascular system, strengthens the immune system and makes you happy. However, there are some rules to follow when exercising in winter.
Doctors and sport scientists advise moderate exercise in winter – especially endurance sports. If you absolutely do not want to go outside, you can also go to a fitness studio, use your own treadmill at home or go for a swim at the public swimming pool. Most runners, however, agree on one thing: the greatest thing is to run outside!
The right clothes
All those who run outside in winter have to make sure they wear appropriate clothes. In summer, a normal cotton shirt might be all right for running – in winter, that is an absolute no go! Cotton does not dry well and the combination of cold air and wet shirt makes the body cool out. Therefore, always wear functional clothing when exercising in winter. Functional fibers transport the sweat away from the body and make it evaporate. What is more, never wear warm winter jackets when running, too, but special outdoor clothing, ideally a breathable, windproof jacket with ventilation slits that allows the humid air to escape. Such jackets also protect you from the so called wind chill (intense freezing with wind).
The right shoes
Now you might think ‘but I don’t have extra winter running shoes’! Stay cool, you really do not need a pair of extra winter running shoes – most conventional shoes have enough grip for normal streets and walkways. However, what you should have is a second pair of runners, if you do not already have two. With two pairs, you can alternate them on your runs and allow the other pair to dry properly.
To boost your performance and give your feet and body extra stability, you can use sports insoles. Take for example our fitness foot support pedag Viva® Sport. Not only does its high-tech foam absorb the impact shocks of your steps but it also protects your feet against the cold.
Protect your shoes and clothes
Winter means a lot of stress for your shoes: mud, dirt and salt take a lot out of them. Therefore you should make sure to regularly clean your shoes after your runs – for example with the pedag Combi Set you will clean your shoes within moments. Once they are dry (never dry them close to the heating!) protect your runners from water and dirt with pedag Waterproofer. The spray creates a wafer-thin protective layer around them – maintaining their full breathability. To protect them from the rain, you can also apply the waterproofer on jackets, running pants and hat.
One important rule in winter: don’t overdo it! Practice with an intermediate effort and adapt your training to the temperatures. Start slowly for the first 10 minutes to warm the muscles. Afterwards, you can slowly increase the speed.
ATTENTION: Never run on icy streets. No matter what shoes you wear or how slowly you run – you will never run safely on black ice. On such days, you should rather go for a swim at an indoor pool.
Another important winter exercise rule: always breathe through the nose. Breathing through the nose allows the body to sufficiently preheat and moisturize the air until temperatures as cold as -15°C (5°F). If you feel that you are not able to do so, you should consider wearing a scarf or a cloth in front of your face and breathe through it.
Drink a lot!
Even if it is hard to believe, our body needs a lot of water in winter. Heating and radiators make the air become dry and the cold air outside also tends to be extremely dry. Our body needs a lot of water to moisturize this dry air – therefore it loses water that has to be refilled by drinking a lot and regularly. If you find water boring, you can also drink sugar free teas or ginger water.
pedag. Enjoy sports in winter.