Running is a wonderful outdoor activity! All you need is time, space, and sneakers! Many regions in the United States see the seasons change and the temperatures transition from hot and humid to cold and wintry. Dedicated fans of running still manage to run outdoors, year-round. Take a few precautions, and you too can be running all year long.
Running in the Heat
Parks and trails offer some spectacular views of lakes, trees, and gardens for runners. But with the summer months comes excessive heat and humidity. Don’t let the weather keep you from enjoying a favorite outdoor activity. Here are some helpful suggestions for being safe in the summer’s heat:
- Run either in the morning or early evening hours when it’s not as hot.
- Keep yourself hydrated throughout the day by drinking plenty of fluids.
- If you decide to run at night, wear reflective gear or fluorescent clothing so you are visible to drivers.
- If you run in humid weather, don’t wear cotton as it absorbs moisture and can cause chaffing.
- If you run during the day, wear a light cap, sunglasses, and sunscreen for protection.
- Invest in fabrics that are made of synthetic fibers. These fabrics wick away sweat and keep you dry.
Running in the Cold
The winter months can also offer some breath taking views of a winter wonderland for runners to enjoy, but with winter weather comes harsh, cold temperatures. If you love the winter and those frosty winter runs, follow these tips to keep yourself warm and safe:
- Before heading out the door, check to see what the weather conditions are in your area. Wait until the roads are clear and dry and free of icy patches before you run.
- There is nothing more motivating than exercising with a friend. Friends can keep you on track and motivate to stick to your running goal.
- Wear socks that are made of wicking fabric to keep your feet dry during wet or snowy weather.
- Make sure you dress as if it were 20 degrees warmer. As you begin moving, your body heats up, so you want to start out feeling cool.
- If you are running before the sun comes up or after dark, wear reflective gear and/or fluorescent clothing, so people driving can see you.
- If it’s very dark outside, use a headlamp or carry a flashlight.
- After your run, change your clothes as soon as you can to avoid getting a chill.
The Serious Runner: Purchasing a Running Suit
If you know you are training for a race or just plan on consistently running in colder weather, consider investing in a running suit. When choosing a running suit, look for these features:
- Shop for a jacket with a collar that fits close to your chin. Make sure the collar won’t itch you when the zipper is zipped to the top.
- The collar should fit snuggly around your chin to prevent the cold air from getting in and under your clothing.
- The sleeves should let you access your watch or heart rate monitor with ease. Look for jackets that have velcro or elastic at the wrist.
- The pants, jacket (sides), and back should include vents to allow breathability.
- The jacket panel should be long enough to cover your derriere (buttocks) to keep it warm.
- There should be zippers at the base of your pants, so you can remove them with your sneakers still on your feet.
Keeping these tips in mind as you prepare for a run will help you stay safe and healthy, so you can keep on running!