Winter time is no excuse to completely avoid outdoor exercises.  Running in the cold can be done safely and more comfortably with the following tips:

  1. PUT ON DOUBLE SOCKS.  Go for a synthetic sock against your skin to help wick moisture away from the feet.  Your outer sock can be synthetic or wool for extra warmth.  Stay away from cotton socks which can keep your feet wet.
  2. PROTECT FEET FROM WIND.  The wind chill adds to the potential danger in cold weather.  A simple tip is to place plastic wrap (or a plastic sandwich bag) on top of the feet.  This can help block the wind from coming through the shoe without causing the foot to sweat underneath (plus, this is thin enough to wear with thick socks and is easily disposable).
  3. WEAR THE RIGHT SHOES.  You may need to go a half size larger to accommodate double or thicker socks.  Make sure the sole has good traction to grip a snowy ground.  Look for a pair that has less mesh fabric to help keep feet warmer.
  4. WARM UP THE FEET BEFOREHAND.  Try running in place for a few minutes indoors before heading out.  Even outside, before running, move the feet inside your shoes or march in place.
  5. BE AWARE OF FROSTBITE.  It only takes a few minutes in 20 degree weather to get frostbite.  If your feet get wet, return indoors immediately and change your socks.  Seek medical care if you experience numbness, pain, discolored skin, or blistering.

It is important to keep exercising.  If you decide to go out in the freezing cold, be safe…stay warm…and get your run on.