Jogging in winter: key tips

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True heroes soldier on even when it’s cold and icy outside. Snow, wind, cold? No excuses: these tips will teach you the best way to train in winter and when it makes sense to take a break.

Boost the immune system – by jogging in winter

Training in the cold season does more than simply keep the body fit. Not only can you maintain your summer training level and burn excess calories, but each moderate run in the fresh air also acts as a valuable boost for your immune system.

Lower temperatures may even get you running faster and further than in summer. After all, in warm weather the blood has to protect the skin from overheating. With the cool fresh air of winter, the blood is freed up to better supply the heart and muscles.

Breathe correctly and reduce pace

Reduce your pace when it’s cold and whenever possible always breathe through your nose in winter. The fact is: if you run around like crazy in sub-zero temperatures, you not only put undue pressure on your cardiovascular system, but also risk suffering an irritation of the airways or, in extreme cases, cold asthma.

The mucous membranes are also sensitive to cold air: they dry out quickly, making them more susceptible to viruses. But if you reduce the intensity of your runs, you breathe less deeply, which means that less fresh air enters the respiratory tract.

Even at icy temperatures of up to -15 degrees, the body still manages to heat the inhaled air enough to prevent damage to the bronchi.

Don’t forget to warm up

Make time to warm up. Whether it’s running upstairs a few floors, push-ups or skipping in your apartment – warming up reduces the risk of injury. Start slowly and increase your pace after around 10 minutes.

Cool down

Slow your pace towards the end of your run and loosen up your shoulders and wrists. Our tips for after your run: ease muscle tension in your legs with static stretching. A fascia ball can also help with tight muscles.

Caution with a cold

Be cautious at the first signs of a cold. Practising sport while suffering from a cold doubles the pressure on the immune system. Read what kind of training makes sense with a cold.

Cold hands and feet

Although you’re sweating, you still have cold hands and feet? This is a normal biological reaction. Due to the cold, the body goes into alarm mode and tries to keep all the vital organs warm. For this purpose, it withdraws heat from where it's most dispensable: the body’s extremities.

Drink a lot in winter too

In the cold season, we tend not to feel so thirsty. But it’s not the case that the body needs less liquid in winter. The dry air from indoor heating raises evaporation levels and extracts water – so you should drink at least two litres of liquid a day.

If you practise endurance sports, you’ll need extra fluid. Unsweetened fruity or herbal teas are healthy and make a change. Lemon water will also strengthen your immune system.

Warm liquids make it easier to drink enough in winter and warm the body from the inside.

No excuses – just adapt to the weather

The weather outside is dire? Stay flexible and adapt your training to the snow, wind or cold. There’s no shame in reducing the time or intensity of your run. Find the motivation to stick with it even in bad weather – you’ll feel so much better after your run.

Choose the right jogging clothes. On dark days, wear a reflective vest and, if possible, a headlamp. And don't forget your cap – we lose a large part of our body heat through the head. Good running shoes with a high water resistance factor also help and provide better grip.

Motivation with a running group

When training in a group, you’ll benefit in several ways: besides the fact that it’s much easier to run in the cold or dark with others, it will boost your enthusiasm and you’ll achieve your goals more quickly. Whether in a running group, with your partner, friends or work colleagues, give it a try. And it’s surprising how often an interesting conversation will help you forget your aching legs.

Training at home

And if you really can’t bring yourself to exercise outdoors, there are all kinds of ways of doing sport in the warm. We have lots of great videos to help you. Let's get started.

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