As the temperatures get colder each day and sunsets begin happening during what seems like the middle of the afternoon, it’s natural to think you have to take your workout inside. However, with a few precautions and preparations, you can still safely exercise outside during the arctic State College winters.
Dress For Success
In temperatures close to freezing, it’s pretty self-explanatory that your favorite tank top and thin leggings aren’t going to cut it. Dressing in layers is key to preventing cold-related illnesses such as hypothermia, and it’s always better to overdress than to spend your workout wishing you had brought a jacket.
To start, consider investing in a pair of leggings or pants designed for running. It is very difficult to layer bottoms and still be comfortable while moving around, but if you prefer an extra layer, two pairs of leggings should do the trick for extremely cold days.
A long sleeve base-layer shirt made from a sweat-wicking fabric is an ideal top for an outdoor run, and there are so many options on the market from super thin to the most thick. Over this, layer some sort of water resistant or wind resistant jacket, depending on the conditions during your workout.
For accessories, a thick pair of outdoor running socks and ear warmers or a beanie are the perfect finishing touches for a winter outdoor running outfit.
Find The Light
Exercising outside in the winter presents different challenges compared to the warmer months of the year, besides the obvious risks that come with the colder weather.
Up until the winter solstice in late December, the sun sets a little earlier each day. While it might be more ideal to work out in the evening after a day of classes, it is a good idea to get out before the sun sets, especially if you are alone.
If you do choose to exercise outdoors, be sure to wear reflective clothing in addition to your layered pieces.
Living in the happiest of valleys, we are all too familiar with the many hills and treacherous walkways all throughout State College. In the winter, it is very easy for many sidewalks and trails to become frozen over, without anyone noticing.
It may be best to avoid super rural pathways and running routes during the winter, in order to avoid black ice, snow or other hazardous conditions.
Working out outdoors in the winter can present challenges, but certainly isn’t impossible when the right precautions are taken.