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Should You Jog on Snow? The Definitive Guide

By: Jason Markum

I love to jog. I ran cross country back when I was in high school. I wasn’t very *good* at it, but I did it anyway (I played basketball and the basketball coach was also the cross country coach and he let it be known that it was sort of expected that you run as well).

I guess it rubbed off because now, many many years later, I still jog as often as I can. My main problem though is one of seasons. I find myself into a nice summer jogging groove, that usually extends into autumn.

Then winter rolls around and I still want to jog, but I hate running in the cold weather. (It’s cold in the winter where I live).

Invariably, I stick with it and motor on as the weather gets colder and the days get shorter. But then it starts snowing and I’m stumped. At the beginning of winter when it starts to snow I keep jogging. The ground doesn’t hold much accumulation in those times and the sidewalks or at least the roads are usually clear.

But then as winter deepens, and the snow thickens, I find myself forced to stop jogging and switch to the old trusty indoor exercise bicycle.

And so people always end up asking me this question; Is it ok to jog in the snow?

My answer is yes and no.

For me personally, I can’t jog in the snow. It’s a matter of hating the cold, and being tall. Tall? Yeah, tall. Long legs seem to make it harder to get traction in the snow and ice. I fall down.

Ok, not all the time, but some times. Either way, I find that my muscles are spending more energy keeping my upright then they are in pushing me towards a good jogging workout.

If the roads are clear, and you have the right clothes to keep you safe from frostbite (which is a real concern for winter jogging), then I say go for it. Jog your heart out.

But if it’s so bad outside that the street department hasn’t even gotten around to cleaning off the streets, then I suggest you head inside and hit the old treadmill or exercise bike. Or better yet, find a gym that has an indoor track.

Many colleges have indoor tracks if you can’t find a gym. If you live near one, even if it’s just a community college, you might just walk in and use it. And if they card you, many colleges will sell memberships to their athletic complexes.

So that is my recommendation for jogging in the snow. If the roads are covered, take it inside. If the roads are clear, and you have the gear, jog away.

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