As the temperatures start to drop and that distinct chill begins to settle in the air motivating yourself to workout can become increasingly tough. I for one, know my motivation and routine have both suffered as it’s gotten colder, despite my love for the feeling of being blasted with cold air as I leave the gym after a particularly sweaty session.
But, did you know your motivation might not be the only thing suffering as we head into winter? As your body temperature drops with the weather, your muscles become more prone to a sports injury.
So, if – unlike me – you have managed to maintain your regular workout routine as we’ve headed into winter, you should consider turning up the heat on your warm-up.
We all know warming up our bodies before exercise is good for us. As we slowly warm our muscles up, we increase blood flow to our muscles and begin to loosen any stiff joints. This process helps to protect our bodies from injury and improve performance. Plus, it just feels good – the calm before the endorphin-filled storm.
Winter warm-ups are extra crucial to a successful workout routine. Think about it, if the weather is cold, you become cold and if you become cold, your muscles do too. In colder weather, a warm-up is a lot more important because you’ve got so much further to go to get your muscles exercise-ready.
The colder it is, the more important your warm-up becomes in protecting you against injury and maintaining your performance levels.
Need some inspiration for how you should be warming up during winter? Keep on reading.
Tips for warming up in winter:
- Start slow
The point of any warm-up is to start slow and work your way to warm. A brisk walk for a minute or two, before moving up to a jog, is an effective to start to your warm-up.
Once feeling sufficiently warm – this will most likely take longer than usual, don’t rush it – move onto some stretching to loosen your joints.
- Try to copy what you will be doing in your workout
When warming up, it is a great idea to incorporate some of the movements you will be doing during your workout. This helps to loosen your joints and prep your muscles to complete those same kinds of movements.
- Incorporate both cardio and strengthening exercises
Doing some cardio to get your heart rate and body temperature up warms your muscles from the inside out. By then doing some light stretches (especially around the muscles and joints you will be working out) your muscles will be prepared to take on the full force of your workout.
Basically, the biggest thing to remember when exercising in winter is to take the time to make sure your body is completely ready for exercise. On those days when it’s extra chilly, make your warm-up as long as you need until you feel ready. The point of a warm-up is to protect you, listening to your body will help you achieve this.