When the temperature plummets and the days are grey and gloomy, it’s all too easy to curl up in front of the fire and forget about keeping fit until spring arrives. However, if you want to avoid aches and pains, loss of fitness and weight gain from abandoning your normal routine, don’t go into hibernation!
Winchester Chiropractor, Max Atkinson advises that to get the maximum benefit from exercise, you should keep going, all year round and has some helpful tips on exercising during the winter months.
1. Prevent Sprains and Strains
Allowing extra time for your pre-exercise warm up can be beneficial in preventing strains to joints and sprains to muscles by giving muscles, tendons and ligaments a chance to warm up before you get started on your routine. A warm-up routine should be, basically, a lower intensity version of the type of exercise you are going to take. Those extra few minutes spent warming up will help to increase the blood flow to your muscles and the mobility of your joints.
Take extra care if, long hours at work plus dark early mornings and evenings, mean that your exercise opportunities are limited to the weekends as, by only exercising once a week, you are putting yourself at a greater risk of injury. There are plenty of indoor sports facilities in the Winchester area. Even if you can’t get out for a run or on your bike, consider what they have to offer over the Winter months as regular fitness training could prevent you from sustaining an injury.
2. Wear Appropriate Clothing
Sir Ranulph Fiennes, the famous English Explorer said, “There is no bad weather, only inappropriate clothing.” This is certainly true if you want to enjoy your outdoor exercise during the winter. A drop in temperature may mean your body is losing heat faster than you can produce it.
Making sure that your wrists, neck and head are warm is crucial. Wearing layers that you can take off as needed and undergarments that wick perspiration away from your body, will help to keep you comfortable and warm without overheating. A breathable outer layer that will keep out wind, rain and snow is also important.
3. Be Safe, Be Seen
Motorists need to be able to see runners and cyclists. Consider wearing a fluorescent or reflective tabard over your normal gear. Trainers with reflective strips or even flashing lights built in, certainly draw the eye.
Lights that attach to a band worn on the head or over a cycling helmet make athletes more visible. These lights can also help to prevent trip injuries for runners and cyclists hitting a pothole in poorly lit areas too.
4. Stay Hydrated
We all remember to take our water bottles when exercising in summer but don’t neglect proper hydration in the winter. Drinking cold water may not be the most appealing thing on a freezing cold day but remember that caffeinated drinks cause more dehydration!
Your Winchester Chiropractor is on hand with guidance on stretching exercises for your warm-up and cool-down periods and advice on nutrition and supplements to keep you performing at your best. Call the practice now on 01962 861188 to arrange an appointment and let us help to keep your fitness program on track through the winter months.