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Running is my daily meditation. I love getting my runners on and getting through the door for my daily run. However, during the winter period snowfalls are quite common and unfortunately unavoidable part of the experience. And while I don’t actually pop out with the same enthusiasm as when I do in the sunny months, I have few tips that make the whole experience much more bearable, and to some extent, enjoyable.
- Clothing – get lot of layers – underwear, 1-2 middle layers, a jacket. Use gloves and a hat, and plan in advance your daily run. I found that preparing my clothes the night before makes it easier for me, so I prepare in advance and in the morning, I just put them on.
- Wear warmer shoes – nothing makes the experience more miserable than having cold, wet feet when you are few miles away from home. Even if you don’t commit to a full-blown winter running shoes, at least you should pick a warmer pair that addresses your feet health issues, if you have any. There are plenty of different models to choose: from the best possible running shoes for high arches or flat feet to footwear with wide toe box suitable bunions or shoes that care for the heel comfort and suitable for plantar fasciitis, the brands offer footwear for all conditions.
- Choose snow, not ice. Running on ice is tricky and slippery. It is super easy to slip, fall and break a bone or even a limb. Don’t risk it. Go skating if you prefer, but don’t run on ice. The most dangerous situation is when the snow below has melted but the temperatures fall again and a new snowfall begins. It is like a skate ring you can’t see. Stay away.
- Be prepared to fall anytime. It is not embarrassing, just a part of the winter traps. Take precautions like keeping your feet as close to the ground as possible, take shorter steps. If you find particularly icy area, slow down and walk through it.
- Wear high-visibility clothing. Wintertime is cloudy and visibility is reduced. Drivers are often times unable to see people due to the snow blowing everywhere. Consider wearing bright clothes and even flashlights if you are going to hit the road before sunrise or after the sunset. Stay away from troubles and avoid being injured. Just try to remember how difficult it is to spot pedestrian wearing black clothes at night. The same is with runners, except for the fact that they are moving much faster. Just stay safe
- Find the silver lining. Be the person that enjoys dancing in the rain. Enjoy your run. Make yourself little gifts when you reach certain milestones. Reward yourself with fancy bright running gear and footwear. Take lots of pictures and post them on your social profiles to make your friends envy your courage and toughness. Take a good hot bath when you return. Reward yourself with hot sauna once a week. Make snow angels on the way back. Throw snowballs at your buddies. Take your dog with you. Whatever you do, don’t get negative, find the good in the crappy weather. Being positive wins half of the battle. Being tough enough to run in winter shows you are born to be a winner.
Have fun running!
With the global warming causing severe changes in the weather around the globe, the effect it has on the Arctic is quite dramatic lately too. The temperatures there as well as everywhere are rising and the scary forecasts are that there will be no more ice left in the Arctic Ocean in the 2030’s.
Even though it has been normal for some ice melting to occur during the warm summer season, the shrinking per decade has reached 13%, according to the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
There is already a global rise in the temperatures, stronger storms and draughts which are lasting longer, desertification and increased acidification of the oceans. The melting of the ice in the Arctic will also affect the climate and all of our lives. Here is why:
- The Arctic ice reflects the sunlight
The lower latitude is the main reason for the colder temperatures on the poles, but so is the fact that most of the direct sunlight there gets reflected directly back. This albedo causes limited heat absorption and keeps both poles cold. Now, the lesser the ice, the lesser it reflects back the sunlight and thus increased temperatures and melting.
- The influence the ice has on the ocean currents
Both the air and the oceans are constantly circulating the heat and looking for balance. This happens by the normal air circulation as well as the thermohaline circulation (THC). The melting ice affects both processes, and causes an overall increase of the global temperature, and it changes the normal wind patterns which cause pushing more ice to the Atlantic Ocean.
- The ice helps insulate the air
The Arctic Ocean is cold, but the air in the Arctic is even colder in the winter. The ice is actually like insulation and keeps the warmer temperature of the ocean from warming the air. This is another reason for the cold temperatures on the poles. Now that the Arctic ice is melting intensively, more het gets released.
- The ice keeps the methane safely away
The Arctic tundra and sediments have very large deposits of methane which is frozen and is safe at its current state. But if these deposits are released they could pose a serious greenhouse gas climate risk.
- The ice helps curb severe weather
It helps prevent longer and stronger storms in the Arctic with bigger waves which can pose bigger dangers.
- The ice supports the native people and wildlife
Living and hunting is more dangerous and difficult on melting ice, so the people are moving out and to higher grounds. Also, the melting of the ice threatens the survival not only of the polar bears, but arctic seals, walruses, whales and all marine life as well.