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3 Tips for Exercising Outdoors During the Winter

Winter is coming, but that doesn’t mean we have to give up on exercising outdoors.

Exercising is incredibly important for reducing stress, which as college students we have plenty. However, the thought of working out in cold temperatures and slippery sidewalks can deter many from the thought.

Remember the classic video of the runners on the snowy road being interviewed by the television crew? Do you also remember the next shot where the woman has slipped and fallen onto the snow? That’s not what we want to happen.

There are many safe activities to do when the temperature plummets, as long as you take the right precautions. Some students like to continue to run outdoors, but if you do not take proper steps in preparing your body, you could get injured.

There are a few different tactics you can take to be safe even in freezing temperatures.


1. Layers are your friends

One of the most important, yet easiest things to do is to dress in layers. Layers are your friends. However, you want to make sure these clothes are not too difficult to take off and carry in the event you begin to sweat to the point of overheating. You don’t want your body to get too hot. Exercise generates enough heat as is.

Cold weather specific leggings will become your best friends. You want to make sure your legs stay warm, because if they get cold, you risk a bad workout, or even injury.

Image Credit: Fix.com

2. Don’t forget about your head, hands, and feet

Additionally, your head, hands and feet are the most susceptible to extreme temperatures. Therefore, these areas must be covered to ensure you stay warm while exercising outdoors. Like with dressing in layers, you want the material covering these parts of your body to be thinner than fleece or wool to keep them from overheating. You lose a high percentage of your body heat through your head, so if you want to stay comfortable while running, you should cover your head.

3. Consider your shoe choice

If you’re planning to run or exercise outside when the ground may be icy or slippery with snow, it is important to choose your shoes accordingly.

“Another option is winter-specific or trail running shoes that have a more aggressive outsole,” according to Active.  “Larger knobs on the soles act as claws to grip the ice and snow as you run.”

There are many winter shoe guides out there, so make sure to check out a few before making a choice.

Julia Bryant is a Freshman Multi-Platform Journalism Major in the Philip Merrill College of Journalism at the University of Maryland with plans to double major in French studies. She is also an avid member of both the Club Swim Team and Maryland Triathlon Team. She hopes to one day work for National Public Radio as a political correspondent! 
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