During the spring and summer, we see our pedestrian paths and walkways fill up with people out walking and running. Come winter, these areas become like a ghost town. Many people who are thinking about beginning a running routine decide to wait until the warmer weather before getting outside, but winter is actually a great time to start running.
Since gyms are closed thanks to COVID-19, a lot of people are getting a jump on their spring running plans. If you’ve traditionally shied away from the outdoors in the winter months, check out these five reasons why winter is a great time to start a regular running routine:
It’s a great way to get you outside
We tend to hibernate in the winter, which means a lot of us miss out on regular fresh air that will lift our mood and improve our physical and mental health. Because running is a vigorous activity, it’s a great way to stay warm while you’re outside and enjoy the crisp winter air.
It’s not so hot
Of course, this seems obvious, but it’s a really good reason why winter can be a great time to start running. Many people choose to start running in the spring or summer when it’s 20 to 30 C outside, which is a lot harder than you might think. For someone who’s new to running, the heat can be even more oppressive. The cold poses its own challenges, but if you dress for it you can actually have more control over your body temperature.
You can run slower
One of the biggest mistakes new runners make is going too hard too soon. In the winter, when the streets are a little slicker and the footing more precarious, you are often forced to slow down. This can be a great thing for a beginner to help them ease into running without overdoing it. By the time the snow melts, you’ll have a good running base, so your body will be ready to speed up when the roads are clearer.
There are fewer eyes on you
If you’re feeling self-conscious about running in public with people watching you, winter is a great time to get started. Not only will there be fewer pedestrians out and about, but with all your winter running gear on you can run incognito.
It’s easier than you think
A lot of people are intimidated by winter running, but it’s not as scary or as difficult as you might think. As long as you modify your expectations and slow down appropriately to avoid slipping and falling, you can enjoy running in the colder weather. This way, you’ll build a good fitness base so you can enjoy running in the warmer weather even more.