You’ve recently decided to be extra careful with your eating and exercising habits. But as you attempt to live up to your promise with a much needed jog, the layer of white and bitter cold air remind you that curling up and pressing that red Netflix icon is better.

Although that may seem more inviting, the special sense of calm you feel after running in the winter beats all.

However, it's important to know how to protect yourself for those willing to ditch the treadmill.

Layers

Start with a form fitting thin base that absorbs sweat to keep you warm. Top it up with an optional vest before layering with a breathable jacket. Avoid wearing fabrics that could cause you to overheat, like cotton.

The most crucial step is to cover your hands, head, ears and preferably face. You also may start feeling numb once you’re out in the cold so it’s important to warm up the areas that are more susceptible to frostbite. The good thing about layers is that they can be peeled away once you start sweating.

Show yourself

Running in the winter often means before you know it it's dark. Purchasing that reflective vest or jacket that you’ve been trying to avoid may be a good idea at this time. Keep a charged phone, not only for music, but flashlight and calling emergencies as well. Plan out your route and let a close friend, partner or family member know where you’re venturing off to. Remember, paved and plowed areas will avoid that painful slip on the ice.

Though it’s easy for the dark to catch up to you this season, a morning or lunch hour run is ideal.

Shoes, glorious shoes

No, fuzzy socks aren’t allowed. Your shoes may be a little tighter and more difficult to break into during winter. They don’t necessarily loosen up easier in the snow due to high temperatures. Therefore, wearing heavier socks may lead to tight and uncomfortable footwear. Stick to aggressive lug soles, which provide more opportunity to grip onto the pavement than other models. Shoes with water resistant mesh uppers will also keep water and slush out.

Pour it up

Don’t let the cold weather fool you when it comes to staying hydrated. Your body is still craving water even if the heat isn’t there to remind you. Add fluids to meals to stay refreshed during the day so you don’t find yourself chugging litres before you head out.

Check it out

Check the weather app. It’s a simple tap. Although your body can endure a lot, sub-freezing temperatures can take their toll. Every body is different and yours may require extra attention. Therefore, start out slowly by testing yourself in certain weather conditions in order to find your median. Avoid running altogether if you see weather advisories.

You’re all geared up by this time, but the first few steps are making you reconsider your entire workout. Whether you’re a regular or a rookie, it will get easier and you will warm up. Rocking out to your favourite tracks alongside a fresh layer of snow is an experience you can’t get on a treadmill. 

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