7 Healthcast: Winter running
If you've been eating too much this holiday season, you might brave the cold and head out for a run. But if you do, there are some things to consider.
Just like you wear different clothes in different seasons, the experts say your running routine needs to be tailored to your environment too.
It may be cold outside, but that doesn't stop some runners from pounding the pavement.
Emergency doctor Dana Stearns, who also runs, says what's important is that runners realize the winter weather requires some changes in their routine.
For example, you may need to cut back on your workout if you're having breathing problems. Cold air can't warm up enough before it gets to the lungs.
"That irritates the smaller segments of the lungs and those respond by getting constrictive and that tightens the chest," Dr. Stearns said. "They feel air hunger and they may have or hear wheezing at the end or during a run.
Make sure you're wearing plenty of layers to avoid hypothermia.
"Layers are appropriate, take them off when warm, put them back on when you're workout is at the point where you're slowing down," Dr. Stearns said.
And don't forget to cover your head and hands.
Dr. Stearns says it's important to stay hydrated, but in the winter you may be able to skip the power drinks.
"For durations of up to an hour or so you're not going to lose as many electrolytes and you're not going to burn so much sugar that you need that type of replenishment, water is just fine," Dr. Stearns said.
And remember to pay attention to the surface you’re running on to avoid icy roads.
And pay attention to the temperature. Dr. Stearns says if it's in the 30's outside or there's a strong wind-chill, it might be best to hit the treadmill instead.
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