Help with Winter Running

You may find that your feet get tired quicker than usual; that your hip muscles tense up more and that you have to slow down to keep yourself upright at times.  It is helpful to have something on your shoes to help with traction, but you will still get some slight slipping if you are on ice or small motions of your feet in the snow.

It is a constant balance workout to do this type of running; which requires different muscle recruitment than running on firm dry ground. Our balance reactions start at our foot and ankle, then work up the chain to our knees, then hips.

You can help improve your balance reactions by doing balance type of exercises daily.  It can be as simple as standing on one leg while brushing your teeth, maybe even standing on a pillow on one leg while tossing a ball with someone.  You can work on the small muscles in your feet with towel scrunches or picking up marbles. You can work on hip strength with side stepping  using an exercise band or side shuffles for a warm up, also make sure you stretch your hips good after running (thread the needle/figure 4 stretch).

Running outdoors in the winter can be beautiful and very peaceful when there is a fresh snowfall, but know you will be working your body slightly different, which can be a good thing!

Kristi Moore, MSPT
Alpine Physical Therapy
Alpine Physical Therapy North
(406) 541-2606
http://www.alpineptmissoula.com/

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