How to stay fit and healthy despite the cold and snow
If you want to stay fit and go jogging in the cold season, there are a few things to keep in mind. We explain why jogging in winter can be healthy and how you can protect yourself against the cold while running. Read our tips to be best prepared for winter jogging!
Jogging in winter? Of course! © iStock / Halfpoint
Is jogging in winter unhealthy?
Jogging in cold temperatures – can it be healthy at all?? Here we can give you the all-clear: Jogging in winter is by no means unhealthy, as long as you follow a few rules about equipment and training.
Good for the immune system
If you jog in winter, you strengthen your defences. According to the German Gymnastics Federation, "the endurance sport of running or. Jogging is, with moderate training, good for the immune system". The emphasis is on moderation: if you run at a reasonable pace, you arm your body against coughs, colds and the like.
Another argument for not giving up jogging in the winter: If you exercise regularly, you’ll reduce stress – and thus strengthen your immune system as well.
Risks of jogging in winter
But if you overdo it, i.e. run too fast or too far, you risk upper respiratory tract and bronchial infections due to the cold. But there are other ways you can harm your health when running in the winter: Wearing the wrong clothes can increase your risk of catching a cold, and muscle strains are possible if you warm up too quickly. Therefore, you should adapt your training and equipment accordingly to the colder weather.
Darkness can also be dangerous for you. Headlamps and reflectors belong to the basic equipment of all joggers, who are on the way in the wintry morning or evening hours. Also wear clothes in bright colors – this increases your visibility up to 150 meters.
See and be seen: Wear running clothes with reflectors and a headlamp in some circumstances. © iStock/ simonkr
What to change about your training in winter
When training in winter, you should do a few things differently than in summer.
Extend warm-up, shorten cool-down
First of all, you should extend your warm-up phase: Instead of ten minutes, plan fifteen minutes for the warm-up – otherwise there is a risk of muscle strain or tension.
The opposite is true for the cool-down: the run should be much shorter than in summer. Stretching is best done in a warm environment. Ideally, you should change your sweaty clothes for dry ones beforehand.
Move stretching after jogging into the warm weather. © iStock/ sumnersgraphicsinc
Correct breathing: protect airways and bronchial tubes
For winter running breathing, avoid breathing dry, cold air through your mouth. Otherwise your respiratory tract and mucous membranes will cool down – in addition to an unpleasant burning sensation in the lungs, a typical consequence is an irritating cough. If you already suffer from asthma, the cold air can also cause respiratory problems (so-called cold asthma). A thin cloth in front of your mouth can help: this warms and moistens the air you breathe a little before it reaches your lungs.
Running even in the cold
Even if it would be more comfortable on the couch: Even with minus temperatures nothing speaks against a round jogging. In principle, running at temperatures as low as -10 degrees Celsius is harmless.
The right equipment& Clothing when running in winter
The A& O when jogging in the cold is the right equipment. Instead of wrapping yourself up snugly, stick to the tried-and-true rule of thumb: When you step outside, you should shiver slightly – because when you run, you’ll get warm quickly anyway.
The right running clothes are immensely important in cold temperatures. © iStock/ Maridav
It is especially important to protect your torso when running in winter, as it is much more sensitive to the cold than your arms and legs. Ideal: the two-piece look.
Layer principle: well protected in 3 layers
To be best protected against the winter weather, you should stick to the layering principle, which combines three functional layers:
1. Functional layer: Dry& Stay warm
The first layer lies directly on the skin and has the function to stay dry. It is crucial that the sweat does not evaporate on the skin, because that would cool you down. Whether you prefer short or long sleeves, a loose or tight fitting shirt is entirely up to you.
2. Functional layer: Insulation
The second layer is used for thermal regulation: Here a warming garment, such as a fleece jacket or a special winter running jersey, is used. How thick the second layer should be? Be guided by the temperature. Usually, the thicker the layer, the more insulating it is.
With owayo’s RLW5w Pro winter running jerseys, you’ll be well protected against the wind and cold.
3. Functional layer: protect against wind and rain
With the third layer you protect yourself against wind and wetness: wear a vest or jacket made of wind- and waterproof membranes.
Softshell: Softshell jackets are soft, elastic and very lightweight. Therefore they are very comfortable to wear and give you a lot of freedom of movement. While the outer material of softshells is breathable and weatherproof, they have a roughened and warming fabric on the inside. Downside: Softshell is not waterproof – so jackets made of this material are not suitable for jogging in pouring rain.
Hardshell: Hardshell jackets, on the other hand, are waterproof. While water cannot penetrate from the outside, the breathable material ensures that perspiration can escape. As protection against adverse weather conditions such as heavy rain or snowfall, hardshells are clearly preferable to softshells.
Protect head and hands
You lose body heat mainly through your hands if they are unprotected. The rumor that most of the body heat is lost through the head is not true. However, it is a fact that the scalp and face contain many nerve endings and are therefore much more sensitive to the cold than other parts of the body. So wear a hat and gloves when jogging to feel comfortable even in cold temperatures. Special running hats made of functional fibers are ideal, as they wick sweat away to the outside, but do not absorb any moisture themselves.
The right shoes for wet& Ice
The running shoes you put on in the summer are not very suitable in the fall and winter: In slippery leaves, wetness and ice, you lack the necessary grip with them.
Good winter running shoes are characterized by the following properties:
– a higher damping,
– a high level of wetness protection,
– at the same time great breathability,
– a high grip of the outsole.
In winter, the ground is often slippery and slippery – with suitable running shoes you will find grip. © iStock/ Halfpoint
In summer, good ventilation in the jogging shoe is important, but in winter it should primarily protect against moisture penetration.
For walking on snow and ice, you can also equip your shoes with snow chains or spikes to provide better grip. For example, some manufacturers offer running shoes with integrated dynamic steel spikes.
Now you’re ready to go
Nothing stands in the way of your running training, even in the cold and wet, as long as you take to heart the most important "rules" for healthy and safe winter jogging:
– Everything in moderation: Run at a moderate pace and don’t push yourself too far.
– Extend the warm-up to around 15 minutes.
– Move the stretching into the warm weather.
– Breathe through your nose or tie a thin cloth in front of your mouth.
– Dress according to the layering principle.
– Wear winter running shoes.
– Wear running clothes with reflectors and if necessary. A headlamp.
So you are well prepared for jogging in winter. If you still need a running jersey to match, you’ll find it here: Get the heat-insulating Owayo winter running jerseys for men or for women and get going!
We wish you a lot of fun with winter jogging!
Images: Image 1: © iStock / Halfpoint; Image 2: © iStock/ simonkr; Image 3: © iStock/ sumnersgraphicsinc; Image 4: © iStock/ Maridav; Image 5: © Owayo; Image 6: © iStock/ Halfpoint