As an avid runner living in Minneapolis, exercising in cold weather is something I’ve learned to embrace. There is nothing better than a mid-day run in downtown Minneapolis. You may think that exercising in sub-freezing weather sounds crazy, but the benefits of outdoor running go far beyond physical activity. Hitting the pavement during winter does wonders for your mental health! It also improves breathing, adds variety to your current exercise regime, and gives you a free dose of Vitamin D!
In order to reap the benefits, there is a simple recipe behind winter running: optimal weather conditions + time of day + proper gear = perfect winter running! My favorite days to run are when the sun is strong and shining bright. Sunshine can make a chilly day more enjoyable. Because the days are shorter during winter, the optimal time to get your run on is midday, between noon and 2:00 PM. This is usually the warmest part of the day, when the sun is the strongest.
The most important part of a successful winter run, is wearing proper gear. It is essential to keep your hands, toes, neck, and ears warm because these body parts help regulate body temperature. In order to fulfill my runner’s high in 2012, I have created a Winter Running Gear Guide to get me through Minnesota’s winter! If you are in a cold climate, give running a try. But make sure you have these essentials!