Top tips for moving well and winter exercise 

Top tips for exercise in the colder months!

 

To avoid injury and illness during winter exercise and sport, you need a slightly different approach during the colder months than you do in summer.

 

 

 

Warm up

Warming up is essential in winter.  Your body takes longer to warm up during winter to ensure adequate blood flow to the muscles before you commence more vigorous exercise.

Warm up can consist of light jogging, dynamic warm-up exercises or a combination of both.  Allow 5-10 minutes to warm up before you commence your sport or exercise.

 

Wear warm layers

If you are exercising outside, make sure you wear warm clothing and/or layers so that you can appropriately change your layers to allow for body (and air temperature) changes.

Compression tights are a great investment for exercising in the winter months.  They enhance blood flow through the leg muscles, helping to prevent fatigue and joint stiffness.

Breathe in through your nose

Inhalation of colder air can cause your bronchial tubes to narrow. This can reduce the capacity of the mucous membranes to stay moist and is exacerbated if you breathe in through your mouth.

Breathing in through your nose gives incoming air an opportunity to be moistened and heated through the nasal mucosa and mouth.  IMPORTANT: If you are asthmatic, it is best to consult your GP regarding training in cold weather.

Cool down

Cooling down is an important part of your winter exercise program.  Cooling down exercises allow your muscles to gradually return to their optimal length-tension relationship and prevent venous pooling of blood in the lower extremities. They also allow your heart rate and breathing to return to a normal level and prevent a build-up of lactic acid in the muscles.

TIP: Make sure you put your layers back on before your cool down exercises to keep your body warm.

 

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