I love running all year long, but you do have to take care of your body differently in the winter weather. It is going to be cold, and as you run, you will warm up. Running shoes with excellent traction are essential. You don’t want to slip and fall because of the conditions. You need shoes that grip well so you can stay upright as you run. It is even better if they are waterproof.

Avoid running on ice, stick to cleared sidewalks or snow packed areas. Be aware of possible risks such as uneven sidewalks. You won’t be able to see them under the snow. There can be undetected ice in areas too so be aware of it. Slow down your pace, and don’t push your body too hard when you are in adverse conditions.

Dress for the temperatures outside! Of course, each of us has our own level of comfort when it comes to the colder weather. I know people who wear far less than I do when they run in the winter weather. You don’t want to risk frostbite though so take precautions. Wear thick athletic socks and a fleece jacket. If the temperatures are very low or it is windy, add gloves and ear muffs. They will keep your hands and ears warm in the cold temperatures and wind.

For your bottom, tights and warm athletic pants are encouraged. Avoid bulky clothing but stick close to home. Then you can go by the house and add more clothing or remove items if you need to. You don’t want to venture too far from home and get cold and have all that distance back home. Take a phone and some cash with you. Then you have a way to call someone if you need a ride home. Warm up in the house before you go outside so you can hit the pavement as soon as you are out there in the cold.

Run in short intervals so you aren’t out in the cold too long. Give your body time to cool down too by walking briskly after you finish your run. This gives your body a chance to start returning to its normal temperature before you go back inside. Get in the shower as soon as your run is over to prevent the chills. You are still going to sweat when you run in the cold temperatures.

Don’t overlook the lips, they can get dry and cracked when you run in the winter months. Apply lip balm to keep them protected. Drink plenty of water before and after you run. You can still get dehydrated when it is cold outside.

Run during the warmest part of the day. Look at more than the temperature though. What is the wind chill? That can make a huge difference. Never run when it isn’t safe, it just isn’t worth it! Avoid running after dark because it is cooler. You will be less visible to other people too.

Make sure you are visible to others; they may not expect anyone to be out running. If visibility is poor, it is extremely important drivers are aware of you. Wear reflective clothing or lights that attach to your clothing. Ideally, stick to paths where vehicles aren’t likely to be an issue. When possible, run with a partner so you can help each other if there is any issue. This is a good practice to consider in any type of weather.

When it is just too cold to run outside due to the harsh winter of Canada, you can still get your miles in! I have a treadmill I use at home when the conditions are just too difficult for me to get out there and run! Adding the treadmill to the mix ensures I am in great shape and ready for those long runs when the warmer temperatures come around.