As Minnesotans, we are all too familiar with the sting of cold weather. If you’re an avid runner or skier, you probably don’t let cold temperatures stop you from maintaining your exercise routine. In fact, there are some benefits to keeping up your routine and exercising outside through winter, such as building your stamina and even strengthening your immune system to fight cold and flu symptoms. However, there can be some downfalls to exercising outside during winter, and it typically starts with not warming up properly.
Not allowing your body and muscles to warm up fully can send a shock through your body. Your muscles may tighten up which can make you extremely vulnerable to injury. If you plan on heading out to be active during the upcoming winter months, here are some tips to make sure you’re warming up properly.
- Warm-up indoors
To achieve a maximum warm-up, it’s best to start inside before you head out.
- Get your heart rate up
You don’t need to take 50 reps up and down to achieve this. A couple reps of burpees, a minute of tuck jumps or leg lunges, or even some sun salutations will do the trick.
- Do some dynamic stretching
It’s important that you loosen your joints and stretch your muscles AFTER they’re a little warm. Stretching after you get your heart rate up a bit will ensure you aren’t going into your stretches COLD turkey – get it?? ; )
Once you’ve taken these steps to prepare your body for exercise, it’s imperative that you dress properly to withstand the elements. If you haven’t perfected your outdoor layering, remember that it’s better to over layer than under layer. You can always take something off a mile or a couple miles into your run or ski. However, being cold miles from being done is one of the worst ways to end your outing abruptly – or even worse, with an injury.
Have a great time out there!