Don’t be discouraged from participating in physical activities and exercise during the winter months. But be careful, there is an increased risk of injury as the weather gets colder. So it’s essential to take the necessary protective measures to reduce your chances of injury by following some of these tips.
1. ADAPT TO THE ENVIRONMENT
It’s always wise to be prepared ahead of time.
In cold weather, our body’s burn a great deal of energy to stay warm. In preparing for the harsh climates, don’t forget to layer up to conserve your energy but don’t overdo it. A heat stroke can be just a bad, if not worse.
Layer up based on the temperature. If it is around 5-10 degrees, it might be wise to wear a t-shirt and sweater combination. If the temperature is below the 5 degree threshold, you should swap out the sweater for a long sleeve t shirt and a windbreaker.
Choose t-shirts made of breathable and absorbent materials for and insulation for windbreaker. It might be wise to wear gloves and hats for added protection.
For maximum performance and minimal risk of injury, pay special attention to your warm-ups. Warm-ups help to get the blood flowing and to increase your overall body temperature. For added protection to your joints and ligaments, don’t forget to actively stretch. Here are a few examples of warm-up stretches: high-knees, downward dog, runner’s stretch and lunges.
3. DIVERSIFY YOUR WORKOUTS
To avoid being in the cold every waking minute you should give indoor activities a try. There are indoor aquatics centers, yoga studios and even aerobics classes!
4. ENHANCE YOUR DIET
When it’s cold, our body needs to use more energy to keep us warm. The worst way to try and build up energy is with a poor diet consisting of mainly fatty foods. Instead bump up your intake of complex carbohydrates. This will boost your energy while improving your overall performance levels. You can find complex carbohydrates in a number of foods including: whole wheat bread, pasta, rice, oats, quinoa, potatoes, and more.
5. STAY HYDRATED
Our body’s continue to sweat even when it is cold out. It is important to be stay hydrated so be sure to drink plenty of water before, after and during your workout. But remember to take small sips during the work out
6. STAY INFORMED
Keep an eye on weather reports before you go out. You wouldn’t want to slip on a thin sheet of ice while running. Check the temperature so you know if it’s a threat ahead of time. Changes in weather aren’t a bad thing but it’s important to reject that changing your exercise patterns during weather changes is important. 🙂
Article written by Amélie Vincent, dietitian.