Why is this such a Michigan thing?

I've only been in Michigan for two short years but, I've noticed that every winter there's at least one person spotted running down a snow-covered road...in shorts. And this winter is no different.

Scrolling through the Facebook page, Pure UP, I found a post that included a picture of a man not only running in shorts but, running without a shirt on in shorts in the snow. Puuuuure Michigan. I, unfortunately, can't share the picture in this article but, you can find the post here.

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While running shirtless and in shorts in the snow looks absolutely insane to me, a former Floridian (who also hates running), this mystery man is hardly alone. A quick search on Youtube or Tiktok reveals tons of videos from Michigan and beyond of dedicated runners sticking to their routines. In shorts. In the snow.

On Tiktok alone, I found several videos out of Michigan:

Sure, this one didn't feature a runner, per se, but that's some serious commitment for Tiktok views...


I know they make pants that are designed for running. I know it.

Heck, Michiganders even skip the long pants for shoveling their driveway:

Again, as someone who hates running, I decided to try and discover why so many people are out jogging in the snow. Leaving the shorts out of the equation, I learned that running in the cold is actually ideal for long-distance runners.

At least, that's according to an article from shape.com. They quoted author, performance coach, and exercise psychologist, Tom Holland (not that one) as saying,

The colder the weather, the less heat stress on the body, which makes it significantly easier to run. Running in hot and humid weather is extremely taxing on the body — there is a reason why the majority of marathons are held in October and November.

The article goes on to say that running outdoors, even in the cold, potentially has several benefits:

  • Boosting your mood
  • Keeping you active (stating that running on a treadmill can get boring)
  • Helping you burn more calories

As far as running in shorts is concerned, I found varying answers on whether or not it's good for you.

Most articles don't specifically say, "No. You shouldn't wear shorts." Instead, they emphasize the importance of stretching and warming up prior to your run and, above all, protecting your chest area with extra layers

If you're looking for some winter running clothing tips and hacks, you can find a few here.

So, to answer the question of why so many Michiganders love running in the snow in shorts...I have NO idea. But, I applaud your commitment, dedication, and ability to stay warm as you jog down the snowy roads and sidewalks.

Meanwhile, I'll be on my couch checking out all of the lovely bird photos and videos posted by a Facebook page I just recently discovered, The Bird Perch:

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The Facebook page, The Bird Perch, is constantly sharing photos and videos of Michigan's beautiful birds. Most of them are right here in our own backyard!

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