Winter running 101: What you need to know
With gyms still closed, you may be thinking about other ways to get out and stay active.
Winter running is a cost-effective way to stay in shape and stay healthy mentally.
For winter runners like Nicholas Karpiuk, a little extreme cold warning isn’t enough to keep him from his daily run along Breakwater Park in Kingston.
"I love experiencing all the elements that nature has to offer," he says.
Even with temperatures feeling below minus 20 on Tuesday, Karpiuk says spending five kilometres in the cold is perfect while gyms remain shut.
He does it, he says, to get some time to himself.
"Just for my own mental health,’ he explains. "Think of some things, do some reflecting and just enjoy the day."
Karpiuk has the gear. He says it's all about the layers.
"Gloves and hat, mitts for sure," he says, "and warm socks."
James Ostler organizes jogging groups alongside The Running Room. He says layering up is the best plan.
"Wear a toque that covers your ears so you don’t have exposed stuff. You don’t want to freeze."
He says not to run in your thick winter jacket and to be sure that your whole body is covered. In fact, when you first leave the house, you should be a bit cold.
"If your skin is covered with proper gear, as long as you're moving, you're going to be warm," he explains.
You don't have to break the bank to get the proper gear. Ostler says many of the items you need could already be in your closet.
"Chances are, if you’re a Canadian in Ontario, you’ve already got most of that equipment and gear and clothing in your closet," he says. "It’s not the stuff you’d wear sledding or ice fishing, because you don’t need to be warm like that. You just need to break the wind."
One thing to invest in is a reflective or light up vest, so that drivers can see you in the dark, explains Ostler.
Motivation is just as important as what you wear. Set a goal, get a running partner, or join a group, because it’s extra inspiration and you’ll never want to let your partner down, even when you’re not feeling great.
"You don’t have to run a marathon or a half marathon to be a runner," he says. "Right after those first two steps in running shoes. You’re a runner."
Karpiuk agrees, and says, it’s all about having fun.
"Just enjoy the day because we have beautiful sunny days and life’s too short."