Keeping to your running routine is a challenge at any time of year. Finding the energy to get up out of bed at dawn or go for a jog after work takes dedication – which may be in short supply more often that we’d like.
Still, one way to make running a little easier is to wear comfortable clothes and gear. This is especially true in winter, helping to maintain a pleasant temperature and prevent overheating.
If you’re keen to stay in shape through the colder months, take a look at our clothing rules for winter running for the advice you need …
Layer Up, Strip Down
Don’t just head out into the cold wearing a bulky hooded top with nothing underneath. Why?
Well, as you get into your rhythm, you’ll start to warm up – and if you feel too hot, you’ll want to pull that heavy thing off. Unless you love jogging topless, this is unlikely to be the best move.
Wear a base layer (ideally, a wicking thermal, with long sleeves), a T-shirt, and a zip-front hoody. As you heat up, you’ll be able to take that outer shell off, and then the T-shirt, leaving yourself with a base layer.
Be sure to buy your workout gear in fairly loose sizes, so you can remove tops easily and quickly.
Be Seen at All Times
Unless you’re running between daylight hours, chances are you’ll be out there in the dark during winter. Most of us find time to run before and after work, putting you into a slightly more dangerous situation.
When you’re running along roads, down country lanes, and in the city, you have to stay visible. It only takes one driver to miss you as you’re crossing the street to cause an accident.
Wear a high-visibility vest over your top, illuminated armbands, or strobing LED lights that clip to your clothes.
Be Willing to Change Straight Away
After your run, be sure to take your sweaty clothes off right away. Leaving your running gear on can leave you vulnerable to catching a chill, and make you colder as your body starts to sweat to cool you down.
Don’t Forget your Hands
Make sure you wear gloves. It’s easy to focus on keeping your torso and legs warm, but your hands are still just as vulnerable to the cold when you’re running.
Wear thin gloves which are resistant to the wind and rain. Ideally, they will be small enough to roll-up into your pockets if need be. Your gloves should also be fine enough to let you handle drinks and eat snacks without dropping them.
You may also want to put your gloves into a waterproof backpack, as with any snacks or drinks.
Spray your Sneakers Dry
Waterproofing your sneakers will help your feet stay dry and comfortable when running on wet days. We all know the frustration of tramping through a puddle and having to cope with damp socks the rest of your run.
Invest in a waterproofing spray, and treat your sneakers every couple of weeks.
Get a decent wardrobe of running clothes and accessories together for winter, and you’ll likely find your motivation staying at a high level – it’s easier to get yourself out there when you know you’ll stay comfortable.
People at almost every level of fitness can try cycling to stay healthy.
From young children accompanying Mom and Dad on a leisurely ride to Grampa enjoying a Sunday trek, cycling holds universal appeal. However, if you’re looking to compete in races, master high-octane tricks, or break world records, you have to be in the best shape possible.
Why? Not only do you need strong muscles and powerful reflexes for maximum control over your bike, you also have to work on your endurance. After all, the longer you can perform at the peak of your abilities, the better your results.
You’ll need to actually get off your bike to build a tougher body, though. Check out these four exercises for a little inspiration …
Crunches to Hone your Core
Don’t confuse crunches with sit-ups. You don’t need to bring your torso upright to make maximum impact on your abs.
Instead, lie flat on your back with your legs bent and your feet flat on the floor (you might want to slip them under your bed or ask a friend to hold them in place). Put your arms behind your head (without pushing on it) or stretched forward, with your hands on your thighs.
Now, curl your torso up, slowly, towards your knees. Get your shoulders elevated around four or six inches, without actually sitting fully. Lower yourself, and repeat.
Aim for between three and five sets of 10 to start with.
Squats to Refine your Legs
Squats are a fantastic way to strengthen your calves and thighs, building explosive power. They do take a toll on your first attempts, but you’ll notice the difference to your cycling over time.
Stand with your feet in line with your hips, and your abs taut. Then, bending your hips and knees, lower to a squat position. Stop when your thighs are parallel with the floor, and then rise.
You might want to perform this with a dumbell in each hand, or with your arms out in front of you.
Aim for three sets of 12, and then stop.
Planks for your Core, Back, and Shoulders
While crunches work your core too, planks also strengthen your shoulders and lower back at the same time.
These bodyweight exercises are simple to perform, requiring no equipment. Just lie on your front, and then come up onto your forearms and toes. Tighten your abs.
Hold this position for between 10 – 20 seconds, rest, and then repeat two more times.
As you get more used to it, increase the number of seconds or add more sets.
Burpees for your Whole Body
Anyone who’s had experience with burpees may break out into a cold sweat … but don’t worry: they’re not as bad as you remember!
Start off standing, before dropping into a squat, with your fingertips on the floor in front of you. Then, press your palms flat to support your weight as you kick your legs back behind you.
You should be in position to perform a push-up, without actually doing so.
Now, bring your legs back in, adopt that squat posture again, and rise into your stance. Repeat.
This will tire you out faster than the above three exercises, so just keep going until you really feel the burn.
As you get better at this, try actually mixing-in a push-up or two, but not until you feel ready.
With the right bike, cycling can be a fantastic way to stay fit, engage with the world around you, and get your adrenaline racing. These four exercises will keep you cycling faster, further, and better – so what are you waiting for?
However, please note that if you’re not currently exercising or you’re recovering from an operation or injury, speak with your doctor before embarking on ANY of these activities.
No matter how much you love cycling, there’s no shame in admitting that riding uphill is one of the sport’s less-fun aspects.
Even if you’ve been touring the States’ national parks for years, even if you’ve mastered a wide variety of bikes, you can always stand to learn new techniques. Making your rides easier can also help to make them more fun – so if you’ve been frustrated by a trail with several steep climbs, take a look at these pro tips!
Get Your Gears Right
Changing pedal too late can leave you facing a great uphill challenge. If you keep pedaling and striving to downshift, you may well find yourself struggling to make that climb at all.
Certain types of hub gears need a quick, punchy break to take effect. So, when you’re downshifting with these, take it easy on the pedaling just for a second or two. Otherwise, you might well end up at a gear that’s too high, leading to a complete stop.
You’re best pedaling at a steady, smooth pace as you climb. When your speed begins to drop, shift down and aim for the top.
Don’t be Afraid to Just Walk it
Let’s be honest: the idea of actually dismounting and walking your bike uphill might seem like an admission of defeat … or even shameful failure.
Well, it’s not. Not at all.
If you just can’t get your gears figured out, or the climb is too high or steep, reaching the top might well seem impossible. Instead, take It easy on yourself. It might not necessarily take less time, but you face less risk of straining yourself or falling.
Also, while you walk, you’ll be saving a little energy, meaning you’ll be less exhausted when you reach the top – making the rest of your ride easier and more fun.
Still, if you don’t like the idea of walking your bike uphill or feel the time taken to dismount would be counter-productive, why not try combining the two? Ride to the halfway point, and then walk the rest.
Getting your Posture Right
Should you stay seated or should you stand when tackling uphill climbs?
Well, for shorter hills, it’s best to keep yourself in a sitting position on the ascent. Ideally, you want to invest minimal effort into pedaling, without sacrificing momentum, to avoid over-exerting yourself.
While you might be tempted to stand, you may actually end up putting greater strain on your chains and possibly wearing out your gears faster.
With these pro tips, you can tackle uphill climbs with a little more confidence. If you’ve only just started cycling as a sport or exercise, you should try to stick to flatter terrain, otherwise you might find yourself having to cut one of your first rides short.
Steep hills are incredibly intimidating for novice cyclists, so work your way up from flat paths to more vertical trails. At Adamant, our bikes are made with the best components available today, to ensure they provide the best-quality experience for cyclists at all levels. Whether you need a model for mountain biking or something for your daily commute, our range has you covered.
Unless you’re lucky enough to work from home, commuting is a necessary evil.
Whether you spend hours stuck in traffic, struggle to find a seat on the subway, or have to run for the bus every morning, the end result is usually the same:
Commuting just isn’t fun.
Of course, modern technology makes it a little more bearable. Being able to watch an episode of your favorite sitcom or part of a movie helps to pass the time, but isn’t there a way to bypass that long, frustrating journey?
Yes – cycling!
Riding your bike to work offers numerous benefits, both physical and mental. As long as you live within a comfortable range of your workplace, cycling to your job could transform your daily life.
Even if you can’t ride in every day, a few times each week makes all the difference.
You’ll Have More Fun
Riding a bike is always going to be more interactive, more engaging, and more fun than sitting on a train or bus.
Remember how much fun you used to have cycling as a kid? The sense of freedom you had with those two wheels under you?
Well, you can rediscover that now, as you ride past all of those unfortunate people trapped in their cars and buses, weaving between traffic as you cut minutes off your commute.
You can use any extra time you make to stop in at a bakery and pick up a snack, or just stay in bed a little longer.
You’ll Lose Weight
If you start cycling to work, even just a couple of times a week, you’ll be burning more calories than usual.
How many exactly? This varies for everyone, based on your weight etc. However, on average, someone weighing around 180lb burns close to 650 calories for every hour they cycle at a moderate speed.
While hopping onto the saddle first thing in the morning can feel like a chore, that exercise at the end of a long, hard day will also start to be a relief. You’ll get to loosen up, go home feeling more limber, and possibly have more energy for your evening.
Your Brain will Get a Workout too
We know cycling to work will keep you feeling energized and encourage weight-loss, but what about the cognitive benefits?
Exercise has been shown to give you a sharper memory, enhance your learning capabilities, and boost your general cerebral performance.
This is a great way to start the day, and will help to set you up for whatever tasks lie ahead.
You’ll Save Money
Not only can biking to work improve your fitness and brain-power, it can also save you money.
Even if your bike has a significant price attached to it, this is only a one-off investment. Sure, you may have to buy a new tire once in a while, but think how much cash you’ll save without having to pay for gas and insurance week after week.
You’ll also have no need to buy subway tickets or pay for bus fares.
Even just a few times a week, riding your bike to work can make a significant impact on your wallet.
Feeling convinced? Good. Cycling to work could help to bring more joy, activity, and free time to your daily life.
At Adamant Gear, we stock exceptional bikes made with only the finest components, guaranteeing outstanding performance – perfect for all commutes, whether you’re just riding a few blocks or crossing the city at rush-hour.
For anyone who travels on a regular basis, staying in shape can be difficult.
Many professionals in various areas of business go from one city to another week in, week out. You may not stay in hotels with their own gyms, and you may not want to work out in your room when there’s a new place to explore.
Luckily, running allows you to get all the exercise you need in a hassle-free, cost-effective way – while also letting you see the sights.
America has plenty of fantastic cities for runners. Let’s look at five of the best …
New York, New York
New York is an incredible place for runners. To start with, Central Park offers a six-mile loop that lets you take in the gorgeous surroundings as you get your blood pumping.
You won’t be alone, either. There are around 60,000 members in the New York Road Runners club, guaranteeing you’ll see many of other people working up a sweat on those iconic streets. Especially as the five-borough marathon nears – as the biggest in the States, this event attracts new and seasoned runners alike.
Like New York and America’s other major cities, Chicago sees countless business-travelers come and go during the week. It’s a great city for anyone looking to stretch their legs while in town, with an 18-mile path following Lake Michigan.
Chicago has more tan its fair share of amazing views, and there are numerous water fountains set up to keep runners hydrated. You’ll also find restrooms in abundance – always helpful if you’re stopping at each of those fountains!
San Francisco, California
One of America’s most famous cities, San Francisco is a running hotspot, with 16 clubs and well over 250 races this year alone. It’s easy to see why, too, with Kezar Stadium offering a public track that’s kept thousands satisfied for almost a century.
You can also explore a terrific three-mile Lands End Coastal Trail, which brings you to Sutro Baths (saltwater pools). This is just one of many routes, and the city’s a gorgeous place to explore whichever you choose.
As with New York, you’ll also feel like you’re running through one movie-location after another. Especially when you cross that amazing Golden Gate Bridge.
While Seattle is known for its drizzly weather, it’s nevertheless a terrific place for runners. There are countless runs throughout the year, with some of those themed around Christmas and other holidays incredibly entertaining for all.
No matter what your preferences, you have a massive range of trails to choose from, providing miles upon miles of path to explore.
For example, the Burke-Gilman Trail offers 27 miles, and covers flat terrain and helpful mile-markers to help you keep track. Another highlight is Green Lake, and Lake Union (offering a full 10K circuit all the way around).
You also won’t struggle to find a nice cup of coffee when you’re done, either.
For runners touching down in Boston, one of the most obvious routes is the path along the Charles River. This crosses 18 miles, and is a popular spot with locals and visitors alike.
There’s also the Emerald Necklace, which is more than 1000 acres covering nine interlinked parks.
Before you set out on any long-distance urban run, you need to make sure you have comfortable sneakers that will offer your feet the right support. You should also wear several layers, so you can peel one off at a time as your temperature continues to rise.
Struggling to get up, out, and busy during the cold days? You’re not alone. Staying active is essential for good health all the year round, but getting the exercise we need in winter demands more motivation than some of us can muster.
For families especially, staying fit together takes effort – especially if you have warring siblings who struggle to co-operate at any time, let alone when exercising.
Still, just because there’s snow on the ground, a chill in the air, and ice on our lakes doesn’t mean you can’t get out there. In fact, that opens up new, exciting possibilities.
Here are just a few winter outdoors exercise ideas for families …
First and foremost, snowshoeing is one of the most healthy winter activities you can enjoy. For families, this is the perfect way to burn off all those calories consumed over the holiday period. For example, walking on flat terrain burns around 370 calories per hour (for someone weighing 120Ibs).
Meanwhile, trekking hilly areas covered with packed snow offers more than 1000 calories’ worth of exercise (for people weighing in at 180Ibs).
Now, we’re not suggesting you should send your kids walking for hours at a time with snowshoes on their feet, but trying this activity as a family is a fun way to kick-start your metabolism.
Nature Walks in National Parks
America’s national parks are beautiful all year round, and are an ideal site for a little nature-tour during winter. Take your kids on one of the many trails and see how many different types of flora and fauna you can spot, with incentives. For example, you might want to offer them a treat if they can identify five different kinds of bird, trees, etc.
Not only will going on a nature walk for an hour or more burn calories and work your muscles, it’ll also educate you all at the same time.
One of the great winter traditions: building a snowman.
Big fun? Absolutely. But there are actually various benefits to building a snowman, snowcastle, or any other snow-sculpture.
First, if you do this as a family, you’ll be working together to achieve a set goal, encouraging collaboration and communication. You’ll also be working your muscles as you scoop up snow, pack it in place, run around – building a snowman can burn around 285 calories per hour.
Once you’re done, you’ll get to stand back and appreciate what you’ve all accomplished together as a unit. It’s a fantastic way to get valuable exercise, bond as a family, and explore your creativity.
Sledding can burn around 450 calories per hour on average, mostly through stomping back uphill with your sled behind you. As anyone who does this on a regular basis will know, this does have a major impact on your thighs, at least!
Sledding can be enjoyed as part of a day of winter activities, such as hiking, ice skating, and building snowmen. Make the most of the crisp, snowy days while they’re here.
If you plan to play in the snow, go hiking, or sled, you’ll need to take drinks, spare clothes, and snacks with you. Carry your supplies in a waterproof backpack to keep them dry.