As the cold days of winter begin to blow in, there are some dedicated runners among us who refuse to use a treadmill. The Bentall Kennedy Residential Services team wants to share some tips for how to safely run outdoors in cold weather
Thin, Wicking Layers
Begin with a thin base layer of moisture-wicking synthetic material like polypropylene. Cotton holds moisture when wet. A middle layer of polar fleece is a good idea on very cold days. Your outer layer should be a breathable layer of weather-resistant nylon or Gore-Tex.
Warm Hands, Feet and Head
You lose body heat through your hands, feet and head. You'll need moisture-wicking running gloves or mittens for very cold days. Wicking sock-liners beneath wool or polar fleece socks will keep your toes toasty. Remember to wear a hat and even a face mask or scarf for very cold days.
Begin in the Wind
When you start your run heading into the wind, the wind will be at your back when you return. That's preferable to running into the cold when you've already worked up a sweat.
Beware of Frostbite and Hypothermia
Be sure to monitor your extremities for frostbite. A patch of pale, hard, cold skin could mean trouble. Get inside immediately and slowly warm the area. Head to the emergency room if the numbness persists. If you get wet on your run from falling snow, rain or sweat, you're at risk for hypothermia in cold weather. Get inside and change your clothes. Symptoms of hypothermia include: severe shivering, slurred speech, loss of coordination, and fatigue. If you have these symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.
Remember that even in cold weather you will still lose fluid by sweating. You need to stay hydrated before, during and after your run. Never set out on a run without plenty of water with you.
The short daylight hours of winter may mean you're running in the dark. Always wear reflective gear and brightly-coloured clothing. Drivers are less likely to be looking for runners during the winter.
The Bentall Kennedy Residential Services team hopes these tips help you keep up your running habit the safe way this winter.