Avoiding Injury While Running in the Snow or Ice
Every year 45% of American’s make a New Year’s Resolution, most of which are focused on being more active and exercising consistently. Since running indoors on a treadmill can seem boring, many will take to the streets, which can be both helpful and disastrous to one’s health. For example, running in the snow can be beneficial because freshly fallen snow acts as a shock absorber to help decrease the pressure on joints. Additionally, deep snow can be great for resistance training. On the other hand, exercising in the cold can result in frostbite, hypothermia, dehydration, pulled or strained muscles, and broken bones. Before you lace up those running shoes read the tips below on how to stay safe while exercising this New Year.
In addition to wind chill, the most harmful environmental winter condition for runners is ice. Ice can develop on streets, sidewalks, and walking trails and it can easily be covered underneath snow. Running on ice can lead to falling accidents, which often result in broken or fractured bones, bruises, and severe head injuries.
Property owners have a duty to ensure that the sidewalks and walkways are safe, including clear from snow and ice. If an injury occurs as a result of a dangerous or hazardous condition on the property, which the owner knew, or should have known about, then he or she may be responsible. It’s fairly easy for property owners to spread salt, sand, or kitty litter once the snow begins and should shovel or sweep away all snow after bad weather hits.
While it is a mistake for property owners to avoid clearing away ice and snow with the expectation that others should be careful, runners can also take precautions to prevent injury by:
- Running at midday when the sun is high in the sky,
- Running in spikes,
- Wearing dark colors that contrast with the snow,
- Wearing thin layers of clothes (avoid cotton because it retains moisture),
- Staying hydrated
- Stretching properly prior to and after running