Winter wellness: embracing the chill with subzero jogging

February 7, 2024

As winter blankets the world and temperatures drop, the urge to hibernate becomes difficult to resist. Yet for those dedicated to their wellness journey, winter offers a unique opportunity to embrace the great outdoors in a refreshing and invigorating way: winter jogging. As your feet gently sink into the pillowy snow, there’s a soothing quietude, broken only by the rhythmic cadence of your breath and the soft crunch of snow beneath your running shoes. It is a powerful feeling with potent health benefits. Let’s explore these advantages and important tips to ensure your safety and warmth during winter jogging.

The benefits of winter jogging

1. Improved mood and mental well-being 

Exercising in the crisp winter air has been proven to elevate mood and reduce symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). Cold exposure has been linked to the release of endorphins, known as the body’s natural mood enhancers. This can contribute to a more positive outlook and reduced feelings of stress. The combination of cold, fresh air and natural sunlight can work wonders for your mental wellness. 

2. Boosted immune system

Exposure to cold temperatures may stimulate the production of white blood cells and enhance the immune system’s functioning, helping your body fend off illnesses.

3. Increased calorie expenditure

The body works harder to regulate its temperature in colder weather, leading to a higher rate of calorie burning during winter workouts. This can be a great motivator for those looking to achieve a caloric deficit after the holidays. 

4. Increased Vitamin D

Winter sunlight is a crucial catalyst to produce Vitamin D, a precursor to serotonin, the happiness neurotransmitter and playing a pivotal role in maintaining bone health and immune function. Engaging in a winter jog provides an excellent opportunity to absorb these essential rays. Remember to expose some skin during your run, ensuring your body maximizes its Vitamin D absorption.

Tips for safe and enjoyable winter jogging

1. Layer up

Ensuring the right attire is essential for staying warm during winter jogs. Explore quality gear options that provide a blend of waterproof and windproof protection coupled with breathability. For effective layering, consider essentials like thermal tights, long-sleeved moisture-wicking tops, and cozy merino wool layers, tailored specifically for winter running.

2. Protect your extremities

Don’t forget about your hands, feet and head. Invest in quality thermal gloves, moisture-wicking socks and a beanie or headband to keep your extremities warm and comfortable. For extreme cold, we recommend a thermal balaclava that covers most of the face and head. The balaclava will protect your lungs from the biting cold, especially if you are just starting out as a runner.

3. Choose the right footwear

Opt for running shoes with good traction to prevent slips on icy or snowy surfaces. Consider adding slip-on traction devices to your shoes which can provide extra grip on icy surfaces, reducing the risk of slips and falls. 

4. Stay hydrated

Cold weather can be deceptive, and you may not feel as thirsty as you would during a summer run, so be sure to drink water before, during, and after your jog. 

5. Moisturize

Cold air can invigorate the skin and promote better circulation, contributing to a healthier complexion. However, cold air can also cause dryness in your skin, so it’s essential to moisturize to keep your skin comfortable.

6. Mind the conditions

Check the weather forecast and be mindful of conditions like wind chill and ice. If conditions are icy or extreme, it’s perfectly acceptable to skip your run for that day. Make adjustments to your route as needed and always prioritize safety over speed. 

7. Infuse a sense of joy

Embrace the season’s charm, revel in the magical scenery, and let each step be a reminder that your wellness journey can be not just beneficial but also a source of genuine pleasure. Whether it’s the energizing chilly air or the feeling of soft powdery snow under your feet, find delight in the unique elements that winter brings to your run. Embracing the pleasure of the experience adds an extra layer of motivation and ensures that your winter jogging isn’t just a task, but a delightful escape into the beauty of the season.

Photo credits: Unsplash


Story by Andra Balaci

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