Winter Running: Survival Tips For Your Feet

The days are shorter, the air is colder and the streets are slicker. Yet, many will still brave the cold, damp and dark streets and trails as winter sets in. For those who don't mind a little rain, snow, sleet or below freezing temperatures and run to survive the winter, it is important to know how to protect the feet so they too, can survive the winter months.

1. Consider running in a trail shoe, even if you are not running on trails. Trail running shoes tend to protect your feet more than lighter nylon running shoes. Trail shoes also have more traction for slippery surfaces encountered during winter running.

2. Avoid cotton socks. Synthetic socks wick away moisture and help prevent blister formation and cold feet.

3. Make sure your shoes fit. Running shoes used for summer may not be an appropriate fit for winter. Many individuals will experience a small amount of swelling in their feet during the summer. This may cause a loose fit for winter, leading to heel slippage and potential blisters.

4. Pair your socks and shoes. Don't assume your heavier socks will work with your summer running shoes. Some individuals wear heavier socks during the winter and this may lead to the toes being cramped in the front of the shoe causing discomfort, numbness and sometimes jamming of the toes leading to blood under the toenails. The reverse is also true. Your summer running socks may not work with your winter or running shoes.

5. Avoid tight footwear in cold weather. Tight shoes may decrease circulation to the toes and increase the chance for nerve impingement on the top of the foot.

6. Run on flat surfaces. In cold weather it is more difficult to adjust to uneven terrain because your muscles do not react as quickly. This will increase your chances of developing muscle strains and sprains. If you trail run in the winter, choose trails with fewer rocks, roots and dips.

7. Don't use your old worn-out shoes for winter running. Do not start your winter running in shoes that have 400-500 miles on them. Wearing shoes that are worn-out can lead to foot problems such as plantar fasciitis and tendonitis.

8. Warm up slowly. Your muscles will take longer to warm-up in colder weather. Your chances of injury increase when you do not take the time to warm-up properly.

9. Avoid speedwork in very cold weather. Speedwork in cold weather will increase your chances of injury. Consider saving speedwork for the warmer days, and use the colder days for maintenance runs.

10. Take a break from running. Consider cross training if you are feeling stiff and sore or if you are experiencing foot, ankle or leg discomfort. Overuse injuries occur more frequently in the winter as runners unconsciously alter their gait to adapt to slippery, hard to see surfaces.

Christine Dobrowolski is a podiatrist and the author of Those Aching Feet: Your Guide to Diagnosis and Treatment of Common Foot Problems. To learn more about Dr. Dobrowolski and her book visit http://www.skipublishing.com/. For information about products which help with common foot problems visit http://www.northcoastfootcare.com.

In The News:

POA News and Notes  The Friday Flyer
Working Out-side of the Box: Water Aerobics  NewsCenterMaine.com WCSH-WLBZ
Exercising after 40  Times of India

Spinning Classes - Indoor Stationery Bicycle

Over the years I have changed my exercise routine continuously.... Read More

Running Tips

It's a good idea to consult your doctor before beginning... Read More

Fat Burning Exercises

Fat burning exercises are the slow, aerobic, long duration types... Read More

Cardio-Boxing for Super Fitness

The major benefits of cardio-boxing include:· Increased Stamina · Increased... Read More

Elliptical Trainer Benefits

There are so many elliptical trainer benefits to list that... Read More

Run for Your Life

Running is an ideal symmetrical activity for keeping fit. However,... Read More

Running in The Zone: A Personal Account

Running in The Zone has to be one of the... Read More

Walking for Your Health

Walking is the easiest way of exercise because it is... Read More

Why Your Cardiovascular Workouts Might Be A Big Waste Of Your Time

What if I were to tell you that most if... Read More

Too Much Water Can Kill

Long distance runners and other endurance athletes have long been... Read More

Stay in Shape - Cycling Workouts For the Winter Months

It's that time of year. The time when you decide... Read More

How To Jump Rope For Health and Fitness

Rope skipping is an excellent cardiovascular exercise according to the... Read More

An Alternate Fitness Tool

Any competitive or recreational athlete will use a variety of... Read More

The Best Cardio Workouts

The benefits of exercise are abundant and well documented, and... Read More

Winter Running: Survival Tips For Your Feet

The days are shorter, the air is colder and the... Read More

Spinning Exercise

Spinning exercise or studio cycling is not only popular these... Read More

5 Tips for Starting Runners

So you've decided to take up running? Maybe you are... Read More

How To Start a Running Program

Running or jogging is one of the best ways there... Read More

Cardiovascular Training - From the Heart!

Cardiovascular training, or aerobics, requires a different approach than other... Read More

Lose Weight And Skyrocket Your Metabolism With Regular Cardiovascular Exercise

Do you try to eat well, even diet, but aren't... Read More

Guidant Corporation Recalls Heart Defibrillators

A worldwide recall was announced by Guidant Corporation for nearly... Read More

3 Keys To Finding Your Natural Running Stride

When I think back to when I was at school,... Read More

Aerobic Activity Burns Fat

Aerobic activity is any exercise that helps you use oxygen... Read More

A Cardio Snobs Workout

As I peruse the pages of various holiday issues of... Read More

Aerobic Training

How to start your aerobic training program:Consider first setting your... Read More