Exercising during the cooler months can be super satisfying – especially when you’re stepping out on the front foot while most are still under the covers. But with the wintery conditions come a few hazards. Here are some precautions to take.
Warm up indoors
Allow your body the chance to ease into your workout.
Start with warming up indoors – walking or running on the spot for a few minutes should do it.
Once outside, give your body time to adjust to the conditions, taking 30-second breaks every few minutes for the first 10 minutes of your exercise session.
Cool down slowly
Start easing off the pace three to four minutes before the end of your training session.
Once you’re back inside, remove some layers and stay on the move for another five to 10 minutes in order to cool down properly.
If you do feel a muscle tweak, try rubbing a small amount of Nurofen Gel onto the problem area for pain relief and to help with any inflammation.
Dress for success
Wearing layers that you can remove once you start to warm up is the best way to avoid discomfort when exercising outside in winter.
As a general guide, start with a thin synthetic material layer such as polypropylene, which wicks sweat away from your body.
Next, add a layer of fleece or wool for insulation, and top with a waterproof, breathable outer shell.
Don’t forget to protect your head, hands, feet and ears, depending on the severity of the weather.
These are the body parts most likely to feel the freeze while your body concentrates blood flow to your core to help keep you warm.
If it’s dark outside, clothing with reflective panels should be worn to make yourself visible to oncoming traffic and other exercisers.
Care for your feet
Keeping your feet dry and warm is essential for avoiding chilblains and blisters.
Wear sports socks that draw perspiration away from your skin, and shoes with good tread.
Try Scholl Shock Absorbing Insoles Comfort Plus for an added layer of protection between your feet and the elements.
Watch the weather report
While exercising on tree-lined trails or inner city blocks with tall buildings can help protect you from biting winds and driving rain, always check the forecast before venturing out.
It pays to be flexible with your workout times during winter – if things are looking too grim, take a rain check!
Map your route
Choosing areas with stable and safe footing and plenty of street lighting is best when it’s damp and dark.
If running or cycling, try loops in your neighbourhood that you can repeat, or take your weights session to a well-lit local park.
That way, if the weather turns, you’re not far from home (and a hot shower)!
Always let someone know your exercise route and your expected return time, just in case something goes amiss.
Just because the weather is cooler doesn’t mean you can ease off on your hydration plan.
Rugging up for winter workouts often means you don’t see your sweat losses, making it easy to forget about the importance of fluid intake for avoiding dehydration.
Try drinking water or sports drinks before, during and after your workout, even if you’re not thirsty.
LIVE WELL RECOMMENDS
Scholl Shock Absorbing Insoles Comfort Plus
All day shock absorption and pressure relief. Highly durable gel. Cut to size for all kinds of shoes.
Nurofen Gel is gently rubbed into the skin for the temporary relief of pain and inflammation associated with acute soft tissue injuries including sprains, strains and sports injuries. Always read the label. Use only as directed. Incorrect use could be harmful. If symptoms persist, see your healthcare professional.