Getting exercise in the winter can be very tough, especially in Minnesota with its recent daily sub-zero temperatures. However, from December to March, there is a group of people who are resilient enough to attend biweekly winter running club meetings despite the cold Minnesota temperatures. For many practices, the winter running club merges with the track captains’ practices for a long distance option.
Currently, all of the participants in Winter Running Club are in Cross Country or Track & Field. However, this does not necessarily mean that you have to be in any of these to be part of winter running club. For other runners interested in joining, most practices consist of warming up in the dome and then a five to seven mile run outside. These practices build endurance, which helps athletes stay in shape for other sports in the spring, summer, and fall. Practices include mainly cardio exercises because strength exercises do not fit into the hour-long practices and cannot be done outside.
Alli Bertagnoli, ‘19, regularly attends winter running club. She says the most rewarding part of winter running club is, “definitely the friendships from everyone. You know someone is committed when they run when it is -10 degrees outside.”
Running, in general, is a very beneficial way to exercise.
MHS Health teacher Ms. Hornseth said, “any kind of cardiovascular activity is beneficial to the body- not only physical but also mentally.” She also said that “the mental aspect of running is really important for teens, especially the release of endorphins.”
Cardiovascular activity sends blood to the brain, helping people think more clearly. Other mental health benefits of running include stress relief, greater confidence, and a mood-elevation attitude boost.
Other physical benefits of running include the strengthening of your knees, reduced risk of cancer, weight control, and even improved longevity.
Even though running, especially in the winter, seems extremely arduous, ultimately, winter running club is a very fun and beneficial opportunity for many students at Minnetonka High School during the colder months of the year.