Written by Theresa K. Brady, editorial intern
Starting to feel the “winter doldrums” setting in? Many days, it’s way too comfy to stay tucked under the covers to lace up your shoes exercise outside—or even to scurry from the car into the gym! So we asked avid runners and stars of the Discovery series Flying Wild Alaska, Ariel Tweto and her mom Ferno, how they stay motivated to run 365 days a year. They should know: Both women have run through snowstorms, crazy winds and other outrageous weather patterns in Alaska!
Read on for their tricks to keep energized and active no matter how low the temperature goes.
- Consistency is key. These two have been running, at least a little bit, every day for over 15 years! “For us, it’s something we have to do,”Ariel says. The women run anywhere from three to 15 miles no matter the weather. “Stormy days are the most fun,” Ferno adds. She and Ariel have run through snow, 40 mile per hour winds and have even been chased by moose!
- Dress for the weather. “We never leave without a face mask and gloves,” Ariel says, adding that layers are the best way to stay warm and insulated. They start with a basic T-shirt, then add a fleece and some kind of windbreaker. Ariel explains that “polyester fleece” material covering her mouth helps to make breathing easier. “Don’t use a cheap neckwarmer,” she says.
- Treat it as an adventure. “No way!” is what both women immediately said when asked if they would ever run on a treadmill. “Running is the best way to explore a city,” Ariel says. The pair runs throughout cities like Boston, Minneapolis and New York to familiarize themselves with their surroundings. And Ferno thinks that running in her home state of Alaska is a “magical thing.”
- Do it for yourself. “Everyone knows when I haven’t run,” Ferno says. According to Ariel, not running puts her mom in a bad mood. The minutes alone with her thoughts are crucial after she’s spent the day surrounded by others. “It’s her relaxation time,” says Ariel. Ariel can relate: “I’m the most boring person if I haven’t run.” Don’t love jogging as much as the Twetos? For a different activity that’s perfect this season, try cross-country skiing, the pair recommends. (Skiing bonus: A 140-pound woman burns 256 calories in just 30 minutes!)
More from FITNESS: Find answers to all of your burning cold-weather workout questions here.
Now tell us: What keeps you motivated to keep moving all winter long?
Baby it’s cold outside! But for those of us training, sans gym membership, or just yearning for some fresh air, we can’t let the chilly weather keep us from an outdoor workout. If you find your morning runs too cold, have achy joints, or just want to make it through a run without wiping out, we hear you! That’s why we asked Dr. Scott Weiss, clinical director and owner of Bodhizone Physical Therapy your burning cold weather workout questions. Read on below to see how you can have a successful workout no matter what the weather.
The cold weather makes my joints hurt! What stretches can I do before a workout to stop constantly feeling sore?
If cold weather is making you sore, the worst thing to do is go and stretch since you’re more likely to pull a muscle or tear some cartilage. In the cold weather, the key is total body warmth. Spend a little more time warming up, by adding 5-10 minutes to your normal warm-up routine. Stretching while your joints are warm will then enhance flexibility and range of motion while also reducing your chance of injury.
Sometimes when I go for a run in the winter, my toes lose feeling. Why is this happening and how can I fix it?
Most of the time numb toes are a minor circulatory or footwear issue. Try making a fist with your toes, or do some calf raises to get the blood pumping. Once you get home, be sure to elevate your feet to relieve the pressure. If tingling persists, it could be something more serious (like frostbite), and you should contact a physician.