Are you running right? Here's how to exercise safe in the colder months

With Christmas fast approaching, it is easy to want to stay indoors and appreciate this heart-warming season. Yet, more and more people are turning towards running in winter as a way to stay prepared and beach-body ready way before summer is near. If you’re not one of these who is encouraged to run every day then don’t worry, it’s no surprise for running to lose its appeal at this time of year because of dark evenings, cold air and the knowledge that your family and friends are having fun inside. All of this can trigger a dislike for anything to do with running. If you need motivation to keep running through those colder evenings than just keep the latest running research at the forefront of your mind: A recent study by a North American University discovered that the running in the colder months can increase the speed you run by nearly 30%, while other research says that ‘streakers’ - people who run every day – build up their resilience, offset holiday weight gain and burn approximately 100 calories per mile. A jogging buddy can also be one of the best forms of motivations but hopefully if you’re on this website, you already have one. But with pesky cold conditions, you’ll need more than a buddy to help you stay safe on the hazy days. So, here’s our top tips to help you make sure you’re running correctly while safeguarding yourself against the most common cold jogging faux-pas. Do your best to reduce the chance of injury Most joggers think about injury prevention as an after-thought or not at all but as with everything in life, prevention is always the answer. Injury prevention should be thought about in every aspect of your running regime, including: into the training itself and watching how much you’re pushing your limits, by taking strength exercises before you run, getting enough sleep and making sure your muscles are relaxed after a run. If you’re jogging to lose some weight then to stay safe in the long term, you need to make sure you maintain a lean muscle mass. Try and take some days off Taking a day off will helps your muscles repair in between runs. If you do want to run every day then some form of recovery becomes even more important as they’ll be so much stress on your muscles and bones. As an alternative to taking a day off, you could run for a very short amount on one day every 3. Also, you could running at strategic times, e.g. run Wednesday morning and Thursday evening, for example. Listen to what your body is telling you It sounds a bit like a cliché but your body will tell you when you are pushing your limits too far. While if you’re training a little bit of pain is okay, you should also take note of when you have a little bit of cold, a congestion or a headache – you may know that you’re fine to continue running. But if you have a fever, flu or more severe sickness, you will know if your body is telling you to take a rest. But if you’re injured, then please stop any form of exercise for a while. If you listen to your body carefully you should be able to differentiate the normal pain from the bad pain that can lead to injury. If you’re ever in doubt then please speak to a medical specialist who knows a lot about exercise. Dress appropriately Jogging in cold weather? Then please remember to wear your layers. On every run or jog on a cold evening, you might not realise you’re wearing clothes for two tempe tures. Temperature one is when you first leave the house and you’re getting warmed up but need to protect yourself and temperature two is when body has warmed up and you may need to get rid of a layer that’s easy to take off, like a windbraker. Some people skip the warmup layers, but these people are very very cold at the beginning of their run. As you run you generate quite a lot of heat, so you don’t need layers that are too warm, e.g. a coat would be silly!

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