A great set up with fire pits to warm up and a nice long loop. On a sunny Sunday afternoon there were hundreds of people out and echoes of "it's only -9" came form the decidedly Calgarian participants.
I, myself, feel I am from warmer ground and haven't ever completely adjusted to the temperatures here. This however doesn't hold me back from putting on 3 more layers than I should and waddling out into the -20s to get some fresh air and keep moving. I've learned through the years to buy rubber track on treads for the running shoes, that those hand warmer packets are a cold butts best friend, and that if well thought out, the addition of herbs before running out the door may vary well increase circulation to keep the fingers and toes a little less numb.
I look forward to a mug of hot lemon and ginger tea with honey and cayenne . It warms you up and the cayenne helps to open the smallest of blood vessels for better circulation. This I use when I'm out in the cold, or just before going out.
The addition of cinnamon can also do the same for circulation so add this to any tea you have already made and it will help keep blood moving to the cold parts to help warm them up.
Adding garlic and ginger to meals through the winter also helps promote healthy circulation. Who needs an excuse to add more garlic to food! oh that's just me? is that why no one sat near me doing up my skates??? Garlic also promotes longer distances of personal space, which I quite enjoy in a crowded space.. or you can investigate garlic tablets but I always suggest the real deal.
One of the most effective herbal circulatory tonics is hawthorn, which is used to treat high blood pressure, low blood pressure and arteriosclerosis. Try 160 mg three times per day of a standardised extract.
Gingko Biloba is another well-known circulatory tonic that is especially useful for stimulating the peripheral circulation and so treating cold hands and feet. Hawthorn and ginkgo may be combined to take as a tea or tincture blend but check with an herbalist or health care professional if you are already on any medication. Try 120 to 160 mg of standardised extract three times a day.
Exercise can improve your circulation by helping smaller blood vessels develop, which can bypass any blockages. Consider also reducing or avoiding caffeine (coffee, caffeinated tea, chocolate, soft drinks, pain killers, etc.) because it constricts blood vessels. Likewise a regular dry, or if you have access to an infra-red, sauna can help warm you up while removing toxins that can contribute to poor circulation. When you can, practice some form of stress control like yoga, stretching or meditation.
Dry brushing is also a great way to stimulate the small blood vessels near the surface of the skin. this should be done on a regular basis to keep the small vessels in shape and also move lymph, clearing toxins and boosting immunity needed in this season.
The essential oils of ginger, eucalyptus and juniper are all warming and stimulating to the circulation and will also help to boost the immune system. Add a few drops of each to a vegetable base oil and massage into the skin to create feelings of warmth and to relieve aches and pains and winter chills.
Keep warm and be happy!