Exercising and training in the colder months of the year isn’t easy. As the mercury dips often does our motivation to get moving and persist with the extra parts of exercise that keep us pain and injury free. There are just a few simple things for us to be reminded of to keep winter a pain free season.
As with any exercise, warming up is essential in the colder months. A warm up helps prepare the body for exercise and should consist of exercises related to the activity you are about to undertake. When it is cold outside it is important to remember to increase your warm up time as it may take a bit longer to get warm due to the low temperatures. It is not necessary to create a new warm up routine, just increase the duration to ensure your body is ready to exercise at its full potential.
To maintain the motivation for the chilly mornings it is important to be comfortable. If you are still running around in your shorts and singlets from summer, it’s time to invest in some more appropriate clothing. Wearing layers of clothing is the best way to go as it allows you remove jackets and jumpers as you begin to warm up and increase the intensity of exercise. This may also assist in the warm up stage of activity and increase your motivation to get out of your warm bed on those chilly winter mornings.
Just because it is cold doesn’t mean you reduce or stop your fluid intake. It is important to remember it is still possible to become dehydrated when it is cold. Although you may feel as though you aren’t sweating as much when it is cold, you will still be losing water through sweat and breathing during exercise. Remember that these lost fluids need to be replaced. Reduced fluid intake can lead to fatigue which often leads to poor technique, delayed recovery and ultimately injury.
As with any time of the year it is always paramount to allow your body to recover between exercise sessions. Failing to allow your body to recover will most likely prolong exercise related soreness and increase your risk of injury. Although sometimes unpleasant you will still need to persist with icing injury sites post activity,although the colder months make using a heat pack much more rewarding! If in doubt as to whether to use heat or cold packs always consult your practitioner for advice. In addition winter is also the cold and flu season so it is also important to give your body adequate rest to fight off any infections you may pick up along the way. There is no substitute for sleep when fighting off a cold or flu.
So as we turn the calendar to June and accept the fact that the next three months will be cooler, these are just a few very easy and simple things to consider. It is quite rewarding heading into summer fit and healthy and the best way for this to happen is to stay injury free in winter.