Tips for Winter Training

Author: Catherine Gray
November 16th 2:49pm

Most sports athletes prefer to train in the outdoors especially with running and cycling. The Winter months, with the cold temperatures and dark evenings can make even the most dedicated person waiver. But did you know that there are many benefits to training in the lower temperatures!

Changes in the weather like air quality and a drop in the mercury mean the body counteracts the cold with an increase in pulse rate. This helps increase the amount of energy you use which in turn makes your training more efficient. Pulse rate going up also helps strengthen your heart muscles which can benefit you in your long-term training plan!

Whilst these reasons are great, it is important to have some in guidelines in place to make the most out of that Winter Training schedule. So, we have put together 7 tips to help.

Put aside enough time to warm up Not doing an adequate warm up can cause the body to go into shock meaning you are more likely to get injured.

Dress warmly Never underestimate the temperature. Using the onion method is the easiest way. It basically means layer up with easy to remove clothing when your body temperature rises.

Breathe!The bigger the drop-in air temperature the more the lungs will open. A burning sensation in your throat when training means that you have a slight inflammation from the air. The easiest way to combat this is to work on breathing in through you nose and out of your mouth. Do not ever train in temperatures under -15 Celsius! The body would not be able to warm the breath before it reaches your lungs which can lead to illness such as pneumonia. Asthmatics should always consult a doctor before cold weather training.

Do not just stop, keep moving!Just as a warm up is important so is your cool down. Stopping any exercise at any temperature can cause the muscles to cool down too quickly.

Get inside! Getting yourself inside as soon as possible after that run or workout. Take off any layers that are wet or sweaty. The drop and then rise in body temperature can make the immune system weaken making you prone to colds and flu.

Choose the warmest part of the day In the Winter months these times may be few and far between but still try. During the winter the body drops the amount of Vitamin D it carries. This is important for the health of your bones and joints. Sun provides us with this for free so try and soak it up.

Eat, eat, eat Keep up those healthy eating habits! It can be tempting to stray with all the Christmas food. Fruit and veg will help keep those vitamins dosed up to help prevent injuries and illness.

Finally, always remember your health comes first. Should you experience any pain or develop a cold or flu, stop your training and see a doctor. Also, do not forget it is not only the cold that can affect your training! Watch out for black ice and if you are training at night ensure you have reflective clothing so others can see you.

Good luck with your training, keep safe and keep moving.

The Return2Fitness Team

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