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How to Prepare for Cold Weather Running

Planning to run this fall & winter? Dr. Livia Chiarelli gives us some tips and useful advice on how to prepare for the Canadian fall & winter temperatures.

A drop in temperature is no reason to stop getting MVMT in your day & it’s also no reason to stop running outdoors in the winter. However, learning how to adequately prepare for cold weather running can help you reduce the likelihood of sustaining an injury such as a pulled muscle

or muscle cramps.

Here are some tips for preparing for cold weather running:

  1. Proper Clothing: Wear sweat resistant clothing and layer undergarments to keep your body warm and dry in low temperatures. A hat to keep body heat in and a scarf to warm the air you’re breathing in are also important.

  2. Warm up: A short dynamic warm up performed inside before heading out for your run without breaking a sweat will make the cold air not feel as cold when you get outside.

  3. Be Seen: Wear reflective, fluorescent gear. Wearing a headlamp is never a bad idea, not only are you easier to be seen but it will make it easier for you to see where you’re going.

  4. Prepare your Feet: Look for a shoe designed for wet, cold weather such as those made from Gore-Tex. A single pair of thermal socks will help wick away wetness and keep your feet warm.

  5. Drink Plenty of Fluids: Wearing your water bottle under your jacket will help keep it from freezing while out on your run.

  6. Forget Speed: Winter running is more about maintaining distances than working on speed. If speed work is a must for you in the winter keep it to indoor dry surfaces.

  7. Change Quickly: Your core body temperature will drop as soon as you stop exercising. In order to avoid a case of chills change from your running clothes and shoes as soon as possible.

  8. Don’t be a hero: If it is -20°C or -30°C stay inside or find an alternative to your usual outdoor run.

Dr. Livia Chiarelli

Doctor of Chiropractic

Please direct any questions about the article or any chiropractor questions to


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