As the days become shorter and the weather gets colder, it may become harder to continue running outdoors. Whether it’s running, jogging, or even strolling outside, it’s a great way to get exercise while enjoying fresh air and the beautiful scenery in British Columbia. Here are some quick tips that can empower you to maintain your outdoor exercise habits in the colder fall and winter months.
Warm up and stretch indoors before your run
With colder weather, it becomes harder for your muscles to relax and warm up. This can be solved by performing brief warm up exercises and stretches before you head outdoors. A quick indoor warm up can include push ups, lunges, and jumping jacks. Basically, any simple exercises that can get your blood pumping and muscles activated. By doing a brief warm up indoors before your run, you will also have an easier time getting used to the feeling of the colder weather outdoors.
Maintain visibility with safety reflectors
While it’s not much of an issue in the long days of summer, maintaining your visibility to traffic, can be a real concern in the fall and winter. It is highly recommended to wear clothing that has numerous reflectors on your front and back. Since you may be moving at a fast pace on the trails or in the streets, it can become very difficult for other pedestrians or cars to see you coming. Fortunately, many jackets and leggings have built in reflectors, which can eliminate excess bulk or the need to purchase dedicated reflectors.
Wear breathable and comfortable layers
A key to running in the colder weather is wearing layers that can wick away excess sweat and moisture. This includes wearing a water resistant shell that can vent away heat and moisture. While it maybe tempting to wear a completely waterproof jacket in the signature rainy Vancouver seasons, these jackets are not very effective at letting heat or sweat out. You’ll be more comfortable with a breathable, water resistant running jacket with vents in the back and underarms.
Use a headlamp in dark environments
As you run or walk on the trails in the darker fall and winter seasons, your ability to see the environment around you will decrease considerably. This can present a real issue safety on trails with rocks, vines, and stumps. Since your human instincts will only take you so far, you should equip yourself with a headlamp to improve your sight when running in the early morning or evening. Fortunately, there are now lamps widely available with led bulbs, which have a slimmer profile and much better battery life.
Wear appropriate footwear
The rain and snow can easily produce slippery conditions, and if you’re not prepared, your socks will be soaked in no time. We understand that it’s yet another cost to purchase footwear dedicated for seasonal exercise, but it’s certainly worth it. A running shoe designed for the elements have thicker treads that can provide stability. The fabric of the upper panels are also designed for water resistance to keep your feet comfortable and dry. On the bright side, making an investment like this will keep your fancy summer running shoes, in pristine condition.
Our team loves maintaining our commitment to movement, and appreciating the beautiful outdoors in British Columbia. We understand the importance of being able to move outside year round. We hope this guide can help you continue exercising outside, regardless of the weather or time of the year. See you on the trails!