Tips for staying active in the winter
Snowy days and sub-zero temperatures don’t mean you have to stay indoors until spring returns. The winter season presents many opportunities to have fun and be active outside. Spending time outdoors during the winter can help boost your mood as the days get shorter. And it’s a great way to be social with friends and family at a distance. Here are some winter activities you can try this season and how to best dress for them.
Tips for winter running
Slick streets and icy sidewalks can be hazardous for a winter runner. The best way to prepare yourself for running in the winter is to ensure you’re properly equipped with the right footwear. Look for running shoes that are designed with extra traction on the sole for better grip. Waterproof designs are also recommended to keep your feet warm and dry, especially in slushy conditions. Most sporting goods stores sell winter-specific running shoe models designed for cold, icy conditions. If you plan to do more winter hiking, look for trail running shoes that have rubber cleat-like soles for gripping into muddy surfaces. Slip-on traction cleats can also make your existing hiking shoes winter-ready.
To dress for winter running, wear plenty of lightweight layers, ideally in merino wool or another sweat-wicking material, to keep you comfortable and dry. Dress as if it’s ten degrees warmer outside to take into account how much your body temperature will increase once you pick up your pace.
Tips for winter cycling
Like running, effective winter cycling is about having the right equipment. Look for winter tires with studs that provide extra grip and traction to hug the surfaces of the roads. If you don’t already have fenders or mudguards on your bike, this is also a recommended addition because it prevents snow and dirty road slush from spraying onto your back.
Dressing in layers is also ideal for winter cycling since you can remove layers as you begin to work up a sweat, or add more on if you get cold while taking a break. Look for tops that have zippered underarms and a zip front which allows you to increase or decrease air flow without having to completely stop your journey. For longer rides, you can also purchase specialized bike mitts that fit over your handlebars to keep your hands warm.
How to dress for tobogganing
Sliding down a snowy hill on a sled isn’t just an activity for children. It’s something the whole family can participate in. And it’s a great way to work some extra cardio into your day when you consider the energy it takes to climb back up the hill and start over again.
Waterproof winter gear, especially snow pants, are recommended for tobogganing as you should anticipate at least a few head-to-toe wipeouts. Long scarves should be avoided since they can get caught in the parts of a sled. If you’re prone to cold fingers, opt for mittens instead of gloves as they help to retain your own body heat in your hands more efficiently. For tobogganing on especially chilly days, you can also purchase some disposable hand warmers and put them in your mittens, boots or pockets for an extra boost of warmth.