By Jen Gendron: Health & Wellness Coach
Happy New Year everyone! Here we are already at the start not only of a New Year but a new DECADE – wow! At this time of year, many of us like to reflect back on the past year and look ahead to all that is to come. While I am not a big fan of “resolutions”, I do believe it is a great time to set some new goals for ourselves.
For those who have been following me, you will know I have taken on a 1000-km run challenge for 2020! Running is my favorite outdoor activity and I have been working hard to get on track throughout the fall but when winter hits, I often wimp out as I am a bit of a “fair weather runner”! But not this year! I have committed to taking on this challenge to keep me running all winter long and I hope you will join me! Whether you want to walk, jog or run, the focus of this challenge is looking to achieve 1000-km in total by years end. You can track it yourself or register for the official challenge at: https://agreatcanadianrunningchallenge.ca
Getting outside to log some of your mileage is a great way to enjoy some fresh air and vitamin D – something we often miss out on in the wintertime as we tend to spend more time indoors. If you plan to head out to get some outdoor activity in, just be sure to be prepared and dressed appropriately for the weather! Be sure to keep your head and hands warm with a good winter hat and a pair of gloves. Even on warmer days you will want to keep your hands covered with a lighter pair of gloves to avoid getting a chill. You should also be sure to choose a good base layer for any cold weather run as it will keep you warm while also wicking away moisture. Wear a good base layer on top and bottom and from there, layer up with extra layers depending on the temperature.
You will want to dress a little lighter than you would for the temperature if you were just spending time outside without activity to compensate for the way you will heat up once you get going. If you layer up too much, you will quickly overheat once you get going and be wishing you could ditch some layers.
If it is windy, be sure to protect your face with a buff of balaclava. Choose something that is also made of wick away fabric so you don’t end up with a damp or frozen cloth stuck to your face.
As for footwear, gauge it based on the conditions. For the most part, a standard pair of running shoes can be worn all winter long but you will want to choose warmer socks for the weather. A heavy pair of running or hiking socks works well to keep your feet warm despite the colder temperatures. If you are running on surfaces that have not been ploughed or may be icy, you may want to consider adding a pair of grippers for some extra stability. Be cautious of your footing when you are running in the winter and keep an eye out for icy patches or built up snow.
Another consideration when running in the winter is staying hydrated. While you may not feel as thirsty as you do when running on a hot summer day, you still need to replenish the fluid lost during your winter workout so be sure to drink lots of water before and after activity.
If you dress appropriately for the weather, getting outside for a brisk walk or run can be a great way to stay healthy over the winter months and is a great way to enjoy the beautiful scenery that the winter snow brings. So bundle up and get out and enjoy our winter weather and start logging some kilometers today!