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5 Essential Cold Weather Running Accessories

It may not be Westeros, but winter is here and you don't have to give up running outside.

Extreme temperatures can make outdoor running a chore rather than a joy. Really high temps and humidity or low temps with windchill can also make it dangerous if you aren't prepared. But this doesn't mean impossible. While you still need to pay attention to the conditions, there are many days that you can get outside and run safely in the cold weather.

Gear Up

You can still break a sweat even when it's cold outside. So, you need to dress properly to protect you from the elements but also allow sweat to evaporate from your body. If the materials don't breathe, it can actually be dangerous for you - trapping the sweat against your body and not allowing you to cool down properly.

What does this mean for you? Time to go shopping! Here's what you need:

  • Running tights or pants that are made for cold weather.
  • Layers on Your Torso — a base layer that is long sleeves and made of medium to heavy weight material. You may need to purchase one of each in order to dress appropriately for the weather. Also, you'll need a windproof layer to go over your base layer. Protects you from the elements, while allowing you to sweat.
  • Head and Ears — A hat made of breathable fabric is definitely appropriate in the cold weather. If it's not cold enough for a hat, at least wear a headband that covers your ears.
  • Fingers and Toes — Extremities are the first thing to get damaged by the cold. Wear gloves or mittens and invest in socks made of tech or wool blend.
  • Shoes — You may not need to run out and buy new shoes, but make sure the ones you have are in good condition. Running shoes were made for running, not necessarily for battling the elements. So, watch those puddles and snow banks. Stay aware of the wear on your shoes and watch for black ice.

[Image via Shutterstock]

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