Running When the Temperature Drops

greenland 12We’ve all seen the news: an Arctic chill blasted Canada and Alaska and the bitter cold swiftly made its way into the continental U.S. Although it remains comfortably in the fall season on my calendar, the outdoor temperatures make it feel like the middle of winter. I’m trying to maintain a positive attitude and look forward to running in wintertime. Here are a few reasons why:

I burn more calories. While running causes a calorie deficit, running while freezing really burns off those Thanksgiving pies. The body works harder when it’s cold, which in turn, makes a six-mile run burn an extra Christmas cookie.

The gym is less crowded. Until New Year’s, when everyone joins a gym to reach their resolution goals, the gyms stay relatively empty. This means open treadmills. When it is just too cold to run outside, I will take to the treadmill to rack up a little mileage. While it’s not ideal for me, I much prefer outdoor running, in the wintertime I don’t have to wait in the dreaded line for a machine. I can work out in hot, sweaty gym and still get in a run and not have to stand around hoping one opens.

Cute apparel. I’m used to sports bras and running shorts; they get plenty of use. In the winter, I dig out my nice running jackets, matching hat and gloves, and long running pants. It’s the fashionista in me that loves this whole new wardrobe that comes with the seasonal change. Just as I love reaching into the back of my closet to pull out my purple winter coat with the silver lining, I love wearing my pink running jacket and black cap. No one notices but me, but hey, I feel good and that’s all that matters.

Christmas lights. While Thanksgiving has come to a close and the turkey leftovers are in the pit of my stomach, houses all around decorate for the holidays. I love taking my run off my normal six-mile path and discovering new streets lined with tinsel and glowing lights. Some homes even play loud music from speakers wired to the outside. This gives me a little more pep to my step. The lights give me something new to enjoy from the darkness of the neighborhoods.

What do you love about cold-weather running?  Whatever the reason, happy running!