If you’re braving the cold weather to head out for a run, you’re already kicking butt. While running can be a great way to stay in shape in the winter, don’t lose momentum and risk an injury by not warming up properly before heading out. Just like the weather, your muscles are cold, and they are stiffer than they would be in warmer temps. When they are stiff, they are more prone to injury if pushed too far.
A good warmup routine is not only a good idea before heading out for a run in warm weather, it’s imperative!
Why Warming Up is Important in Cold Weather
Warming up for 12-15 minutes can help your body transition from a resting state to a movement or action state without putting extra stress on the organs or your brain.
A proper warm up will also:
- Give you greater range of motion
- Increase the efficiency of your joints, muscles, ligaments, and tendons
- Increase your lung capacity (which will decrease in colder weather!)
- Release stored fat to give you more energy
- Help you avoid hypothermia by raising your body temperature before you go outside
Winter Running Warm Ups
So before you head outside and get moving, stay inside and get your body and muscles warm and ready. You should get at least 5-10 minutes of stretching and movement before you head out (but 12-15 is better!) and make sure you use dynamic movements instead of static stretching, especially when heading out into the cold.
Dynamic = moving stretches
Static = stretches where you lie still
Once your muscles are warm, get your heart pumping and your blood flowing with some more fast-paced movement.
Once you're warm, make sure you bundle up (the right winter running gear will keep you from getting hypothermia), put on the right shoes, and head on out!